Writing… Damn…. Its Just so Much Fun!

365 days ago the Bain Clan was boarding a plane for a 7 week extended tour of Europe.

Today, while I sit in our Yaletown condo reminiscing about the time we spent away, I can honestly say that I LOVE our life living in Vancouver… 33 floors high in the sky, over looking the North Shore Mountains, English Bay and beyond. WOW! Seriously… what is NOT to LOVE!  But a huge part of me is still in Europe.  The amazing time we spent there as a family last summer is burned into my soul (Ha…. now how is that for dramatic….  I wonder where the Little MIss gets her drama from?!?)  I honestly wish we were heading to the airpot with our bags packed ready for another 7 weeks on the roads of Europe. Guess the planning for Summer 2014 will have to do for now!

I started this blog with the intention of just keeping friends and family up to date on our daily adventures while we were in Europe. Its funny how when you do something for one reason…… it can transform itself into something so much more than you ever thought it would.  Doing this simple little blog for our family and friends has done so much more for me than I ever thought it would.

The name for the blog…..Daily Dose of Europe, came to me during an afternoon run on the Vancouver seawall.  I had been thinking about the trip and all the questions I had been getting from various family members and friends on how they were going to stay in touch with us while we were away. “How will we know where you are?  What you are up to?” “Seven weeks is a long time… can you take pictures and send them to us?” Ect. ect. ect……  I had been thinking about doing a blog for a bit of time.  When the name came to me that day, I literally got home from my run, and, all wet from the rain, and sweaty from my run, I  went on the computer to see if the domain name was available.  I was super thrilled that it was. So FUN!

It was at this point, after I secured the domain that I thought….. “well I guess I had better learn a bit about WordPress BEFORE we go away as they will be no time figuring it out while we are in Europe”.  It was also about at the same time that I had decided to do weekly themed dinners with the family leading up to the trip.  It was perfect. I could learn about WordPress AND have my kids eat new foods! FUN!

After a couple of entries into the whole blogging world, I went for lunch with Ms V.  The blogger behind  www.anythingandnothing.com, and someone I had known since high-school. We went for a quick lunch to catch up on life.  During the conversation the whole blog thing came up and I was talking about how I didn’t really realize how much time it took to blog….. yada, yada, yada, (hey is that even a word?) and that I would probably just end up posting pictures daily from the trip while we were away.  Her response was that since I named the blog “DAILY DOSE” of Europe…. well I had damn well better do a daily post…. Hahahaha ….. I was definitely questioning my domain name choice!  😉

I managed to keep with my goal of cooking weekly themed dinners for the family, and blogging about them so I could learn WordPress.  The one thing I wasn’t really expecting to come out of this whole blogging thing, was that I was actually really enjoying the whole writing process. For some reason this was funny to me.

Now…… I was completely terrified the first time I hit the publish button on the blog.  Seriously…. I think I paced back and forth, all while looking at the computer and that damn publish button…..you have no idea how crazy this was for me! I first thought that I wouldn’t let anyone that  I knew, know that I was writing the blog.  I quickly realized how silly that was.  If you are writing a blog the WHOLE point is to have people (as many as possible) read your BLOG (share with your friends people!)  😉  As terrified as I was to have people who actually knew me, read my thoughts on random things….. I connected the publish button in WordPress to my Facebook and Twitter accounts and hit PUBLISH!  The first time I hit that button I secretly cringed, and broke out in a sweat…. I am happy to say that, that crazy feeling has long subsided.

An awesome feature about WordPress is that they track the stats of your blog. It was something I wasn’t really that interested in until I saw that people were actually reading MY LITTLE BLOG!  I love that I can see in what countries people have looked at my blog. I can also see what Google search terms have brought people to my blog.  Let me tell you some of the search terms are so funny!  I LOVE it… and makes me smile.

Since I started my blog on Feb 25, 2012 its been so great to see the site stats. Now….. I know that in the world of Blogging my stats don’t compare, but since I wasn’t really expecting that many… seeing it was pretty cool! I have had 2,629 views all time.  50 comments, and views from people all over this small world.  I had 1744 views in Canada, and 233 views in USA. France had 72 views, and Spain had 42 views. The list is long on countries, but so cool that people in Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Israel, Peru, Iceland, and United Arab Emirates have some how found their way to my little blog.

The search engine terms that directed people to my blog also make me smile. Sometimes it seems so random! Here are a few, with the number of times it was searched. Ha… yes Chef Fabrice Rossman, you were googled 3 times and it brought “who ever it was” to my blog. Anyway the google stats make me smile.

luz-saint-sauveur france in winter 5
dailydoseofeurope 5
barcelona gelato shop 4
mountain towns in france 4
carcassonne real chocolate 4
barcelona frank gehry 4
daily dose of europe 4
disneyland paris lollipop 4
schnitzel 3
carcassonne. 80’s love songs 3
hotel montmorency 3
fabrice rossman 3
barcelona building eyes 3
the little red tin 3
barcelona fish gehry 3
pierre hermes arc de triump 2
real chocolate carcassonne 2
paris metro+m1 2
chocolate olives carcassonne 2
tourmalet safety driving 2
mountain towns in europe 2
windsor meats 2
animated rainstorm 2
euro disney rides 2
kiddie tram 2
cafe mickey disneyland paris 2
lourdes pyrenees mountains 2
is it safe to drive to lourdes from barcelona through the mountains 2
awesome red doors 2
rue poncelet market 2
indoor dolphin show 2
top mountain town vehicles 2
funiculaire regulations of fencing 2
intent tomtom 2
chocolat veal carcassonne 2
we have been waiting for you the whole afternoon 2
tourmalet cheese 2
mickey mouse in europe 2
toll roads heading south in france
german football fan 1
disney store charles de gaulle 1
barcelona dolphin show 1
daily doise iod for children 1
daily dose of europe bain 1
my family travel blog 1
barcelona zoo luggage 1
pictures of kale chips 1
dailydoseofeurope.com 1
disneyland paris lineups 1
disney tickle 1
disney popcorn dumbo 1
sagrada familia 1
noodle panda paris 1
le tour de laundry 1
frank gehry daily life 1
we are the children – euro music from the 80’s 1
a daily dose of europe 1
who said i have been waiting for this my whole life 1
cave street carnival midi 1

So I didn’t make it do doing a “Daily Dose of Europe”…. *sigh*.  During our trip there were a lot of factors that contributed to this. One was that the days were busy and the nights we not what i imagined them to be.  There just wasn’t a ton of time from when the kiddies were asleep to when they would be waking up.  The internet was also not what I was accustomed to.  It was AMAZING when we had our apartment in Paris and had unlimited WiFi for all our devices all the time, but once we left there… well it was just ALOT harder to connect!

It was however, important to me to “finish” this blog.  I really wanted the kids to one day read back on all the fun and craziness that we had.

When we returned to Canada in August 2012, I did a post about “Le Tour de France (a month or so after it was over) and my good friend asked me when I would “FINISH” the blog.  My response was “before the kiddies start school in September”.  When he asked again in November I said it would be “before the end of the year (2012)”.  He quit asking…. however I could hear the question over and over again every time I did an update.  For me it is fitting that my last blog entry here is on the day we started our adventure, 365 days ago.  YES… I ended up half planning this, but only because it was a fitting end!

With the Bain Clan heading back to Europe in Summer 2014, there will be random postings here but probably not many till some time in 2014 as we build up to another grande adventure.

I have decided that I really like this whole writing process and plan to continue it on my newest blog Life and Laundry. I’m not 100% sure where that blog will go but you can bet it will focusing on my awesome family, Vancouver, and all the “daily” craziness we encounter!

http://www.lifeandlaundry.com

I hope to get that site up and running in the next couple of days…..  Check for me there

Writing… damn…. it’s just so much fun!

Enjoy your (not so) Daily Dose

Xox

B.

PS Hope to see you all in the stats on the new blog!  🙂

photo

It’s Small World…. Love it!

photo1

Stats…. So fun!

photo2

This happens ALOT from our window on the 33rd floor…. *SIGH*

photo3

Hello Vancouver….. Seawall around Stanley = AWESOME!

photo4

View…… 33rd floor!

photo5

3rd beach picnic…  *LOVE*

photo6

Yes… even this is AWESOME 33 floors up. Gotta love Vancouver and the rain! *LOVE*

Advertisements

Right Smack in the Middle of Paris!

Orléans was the perfect stop before Paris. We kinda felt like we were coming home….. it was a nice familiar feeling driving up to the hotel.  This was to be a night of organizing our luggage after 7 weeks on the road.  We needed to look through EVERYTHING (especially the kids luggage) and quietly remove some of the toys that the kiddies had accumulated over the duration of the trip. We honestly did not want to bring some of the stuff back with us (really….. who needs a huge foamy hand from Le Tour de France)  😉  Mike also needed to figure out away to “attach” the drivers side bumper of the car…. back ONTO the car.  It was something that happened while the car was “parked” for the week in Barcelona.  We honestly didn’t know what happened and we certianly weren’t going to be the people paying for something we didnt do (for all we know this could have been something form the previous driver… the problem just wasn’t from us!).  This brings me back to the point I have made earlier in the blog…. the point that Mike can rig just about anything to make it work…kinda like MacGyver.  He managed to attach it, and it was all good!

After we woke up and played in the huge back yard over looking the Loire River, we packed up the car for what would be THE LAST TIME.  We programmed the Tom Tom for the Charles de Gaulle Hilton Airport hotel and with Darth directing us through roundabouts and exits, we were off!

The plan for the day was to drive around Paris early enough to miss Friday rush hour traffic, get to the hotel at the airport, drop our belongings in the room, all with enough time for Mike and Brodie to drive to our old neighbourhood in Paris, and drop off the car.  Syd and I would make our way to our favourite metro stop and hook up with the boys there.  We would then continue on our afternoon of exploring, have dinner, all before heading back to the airport of our last sleep in Paris.

Looks like our Tom Tom had other plans for us this day!

On our drive we seemed to be closing in on Paris instead of going around it.  The Tom Tom said we were 15 km from our destination when all of a sudden, in the distance we could see the Eiffle Tower.  I thought how curious this was because I was pretty sure the airport was MUCH further from the Eiffel tower than that.  I mentioned it to Mike, but he said that no, the Tom Tom was programmed to the correct address…. uuummmmm……this feels familiar but……ok!  We  kept getting closer and closer to that iconic tower when we finally pulled over, litteraly across the Seine from it, all while the Tom Tom was saying we were 3 KM from our destination.  It honestly felt like we were back to our first day driving in Paris and making our way to La Defense and the crazy nightmare that that was. We we knew our plans for the day were quickly going down the tubes!

We were in the EXACT place we didnt want to be during RUSH hour….. Right smack in the middle of Paris! Uuuugghhhh!  It took us quite a bit of time to make our way onto a main road towards the airport.  We were quickly running out of time….. to the point where we didn’t think we would get the car back to the rental company in time before they closed for the night.  After what seemed like an eternity in Paris rush hour traffic, we were almost at the airport and our hotel, we were so close we could see the damn hotel, but we just couldnt find the exit to get us there.  Oh my…. here we go again!  After a couple attempts and going around in circles at the airport we finally found the route ot take us to our hotel.

Time was definitely of the essence as we unpacked the car like mad. We checked into the room, and in a blink of an eye, Mike and Brodie jumped right back into the car to get it back to the rental agency in our old neighbourhood of 17th arrondissement and the Arc de Triomphe.  Sydney and I were to meet the boys at our old stop on the M1 – Charles de Gaulle Étoile

I thought Syd and I had a ton of time to get there since the boys would be fighting traffic on the roads, but much to my surprise (and 2 trains later), we hooked up with Mike and Brodie at the EXACT same time. AWESOME! It was pretty cool that, this part of the day turned out to be  seemless.  Now it was time to get on with our “last day in Paris!”

The first stop was to a pharmacy.  We needed to get Syd a French version of “Gravol”.  I DIDN’T take all the advice I was given on this 7 weeks earlier, and was not going to make that same mistake. I needed  to have this on hand incase Syd needed help during the flight.  I was NOT going to go through the same HELL that we did on the plane 7 weeks earlier…. it was just too crazy and stressful for EVERYONE involved.  We then hit up a couple of stores on the Champs-Élysées before making our way back to our old neighbourhood and the “purple” restaurant for dinner. Sydney, it turns out, was just happy to be eating pizza and sitting in a purple chair.  Mike and I were so thrilled to be back in the ‘hood, eating some yummy food, with a happy little Sydney, all while Brodie , Mike and I were catching the London Olympics on the big screen TV’s.  Life was GOOD… eating pizza, in a purple restaurant, in the middle of Paris!

We called it an early evening as we knew we had an EXTRA long day ahead of us the following morning.  Taking the train to the airport, and watching the Eiffel Tower disappear on the horizon, was just so “bitter sweet”.  It was so incredibly “sweet” to have spent the past 7 weeks with the family in Europe, but so “bitter” that 7 weeks ended up going so damn FAST!  Wow…. hard to believe we were heading back to Canada in the morning!

We woke up packed and ready to go and made our way to the hotel lounge for breakfast. It was cool to be looking out at the airport runways (and a Concord airplane), as we ate our last breakfast in France.

We caught the hotel shuttle to our terminal, got a luggage cart and packed it full.  The airport was so CRAZY busy I almost couldn’t believe it! Walking through to get to the Air Canada check-in was almost close to impossible.  The lineups to check in were beyond anything I had ever seen, and thinking to myself I thought we would never be on time for our flight.  When we arrived at the Air Canada check-in it was CRAZY!  One thing that I can say is that membership “has its privileges”!  With the amount that Mike travels through out the year, and the “status” he gains at Air Canada for all that travel…… well we were put through the Super Elite check-in line.  Thank you Air Canada….. Thank you!  The amount of time it would have taken to get through the other lineup…. it was mind boggling. We made our way to the Air Canada lounge, where the kiddies made themselves quite at home before we needed to go and board our flight for Canada!

It was a full flight back to Canada.  The little Miss made it perfectly through the leg from Paris to Toronto with a “GREAT” sleep mid way through the flight, waking up refreshed for the layover in Toronto.  I was able to get caught up on a couple of movies during that flight, as well as a bit of a catnap.

Getting through customs was quick and easy.  We had a few hours before the flight to Vancouver so we stopped for lunch and I was just so happy to be hooked in to Canadian WiFi with no connection issues!

The flight from YYZ >YVR was painfully long. Not because the kids were tired or cranky (Syd slept again… through the landing into Vancouver, with a seatbelt on and everything!), but because I really now, just wanted to get HOME!

Arriving at YVR,  Brodie got THE BEST SURPRISE when his best bud was there to greet him after 7 weeks away!  It was so awesome to see these 2 little buddies so excited to see one another… it was AMAZING!

Air Canada lost our car seats (but thank you so much for giving us brand new ones to use!) so it took an extra 45 minutes to get out of the airport and into a cab.  Once we were on our way back home, and driving down Granville Street towards Yaletown, I found myself excited to get back to our Vancouver life.  I was excited to see our Condo.  Excited to look out over the water towards the North Shore mountains.  Excited to get back to all that Vancouver had to offer.

We had an AMAZING 7 week family adventure.

There were “amazing times”, and  “bad times”. There were “fun times, and “crazy times”. There were, “take your breath away moments”, and there were “I think we should end the trip now and fly back home” moments.

I am so thankful that we got to spend all the amazing, fun, crazy, take your breath away, moments together… as a family.  Traveling and exeperiencing Europe for 7 weeks.

We seriously cant wait to do it all again.

Look out Europe….. the Bain Clan will be back….. Summer 2014.  Hold on to your hats, because it’s gonna be another EPIC ADVENTURE!

Enjoy your (not so) Daily Dose.

Xox

B.

OPV-1

Orléans…. and the “F” twig

OPV-2

Mr.Man

OPV-3

OPV-4

More wind farm awesomeness EnRoute to Paris.

OPV-5

OPV-6

OPV-7

OPV-8

Hello LAST TOOL BOOTH

OPV-9

Hey….. Its  the Eiffel Tower…. I dont think we are heading to the airport!

OPV-10

This is probably not a good sign….

OPV-11

I adore you…. but we REALLY shouldn’t see you right now!

OPV-12

Nooooooooo………

OPV-13

Boo… Tom Tom has brought us where we REALLY dont want to be right now!

OPV-14

We are finally sorted and where we should be!

OPV-15

Yay….Champs-Élysées

OPV-16

Navigating the Paris Metro

OPV-17

Hello Purple Pizza Restaurant!

OPV-18

On to train #2 back to the airport.

OPV-19

Back to the airport

OPV-20

Mr.Man

OPV-21

The lIttle Miss

OPV-22

OPV-23

Kiddies

OPV-24

View from the room

OPV-25

Breakfast view!

OPV-26

Our Luggage for 7 weeks…..

OPV-27

I think we did pretty well… car seats and all!

OPV-28

Charles de Gaulle Airport… sooooo crowded!

OPV-29

Thank you Air Canada…Thank you!

OPV-30

Airport LOVE!

OPV-31

Mr. Man

OPV-32

Anything for Brodie… his Favourite!  😉

OPV-33

Our Plane

OPV-34

Waiting

OPV-35

Canada… here we come

OPV-36

7 weeks goes …… FAST!

OPV-37

My Loves!

OPV-38

Here we go!

OPV-39

Mr Man and the iPad

OPV-40

We are completely addicted to our technology!

OPV-41

You know what?…… Its just not the same…… Missing my french coffee already and we haven’t even hit 33,000 ft!

OPV-42

Canadian Soil…. here we come!

OPV-43

More Airport LOVE!

OPV-44

Yes indeed!

OPV-45

Our first Canadian sunset in 7 weeks!  We LOVE you Vancouver!

Sunshine and Sand

San Sebastian – Day 2

Well the predicted weather for our beach day was spot on!  Bright blue sun filled skies, and not a cloud to be found.  We packed up our beach bag with everything we would need for a full day of sun, sand, and surf.  We walked down to the beach with the usual stop at the little park near the hotel before continuing on our way to the beach.  The brief pit stop at the park and surrounded by trees we seemed to be unaware of just how hot and muggy it was becoming.  By the time we arrived at the beach it was smouldering hot.

It took us a bit of time to finally decide on a spot to park our stuff for the day.  The first spot was at the end of the beach, opposite to “Old Town”, where all the cabana and tents were. It was VERY crowded at this end of the beach and with the tide coming in…. well the water wasn’t quite as clean as it was the day before on our walk.  We made our way further down the beach, to a tiny cove, but again with the tide coming in we knew our little beach was short-lived.  We finally came to a spot where we had a bit of shade from the blistering sunshine, near the cement wall of the boardwalk. Given the heat sensitivity of both Brodie and Mike, it was the perfect location where we could frolic in the waves, play in the sand, and then hop into the shade for a break from all the beautiful sunshine.

A funny little thing about me is that  I don’t love sand. Well……honestly it is mostly Vancouver sand I’m not the biggest fan of.  I LOVE everything about Vancouver EXCEPT for the sand on our beaches. I love the sand on the North Shore of Oahu, all the sand we encountered in Australia, and now I can add the sand of San Sebastian to the list.  Wow.  The sand on La Concha was quite simply divine. I can almost still feel the silky grains of  golden sand right now.

We stayed at the beach ALL DAY LONG, playing in the waves, and digging in the sand.  There really was no better way to spend a sun filled day on the Basque coastline.

Enjoy your (not so) Daily Dose

Xox

B.

San Seb2-1

San Seb2-2

San Seb2-3

Shaded area on the beautiful sand of La Concha Beach

San Seb2-4

Not really into the sand quite yet.

San Seb2-5

Digging a big hole…absolutely nothing better!

San Seb2-6

Seeing if will survive the incoming tide.

San Seb2-7

Little Syd….. unsure on waves and making a run for it.

San Seb2-8

Quickly being washed away.

San Seb2-9

San Seb2-10

Finally happy to be in the water

San Seb2-11

Family….. Love!

San Seb2-12

San Seb2-13

Finding some shade from the sunshine

San Seb2-14

Mid day snacks on the beach

San Seb2-15

Digging

San Seb2-16

digging

San Seb2-17

and even more digging

The “Unintentional” Food Blog

Ok ….. so…….it looks like I am doing an “unintentional” food blog leading up to our European adventure. Ooooops!

This past weekend, after much internal debate, on how I was letting the kids (and myself) down, I decided that I would NOT be doing a themed dinner with the kiddies…..  ugghhhhhh ………seriously…….. the guilt…. this was my goal leading upto the trip!  So with Mike still away on business, I really couldn’t (now you should really read “didn’t want too”) muster the energy to try and pull off  a European themed dinner.

On Friday night, the kiddies and I were lucky enough to be invited to a friends house for dinner.  Tandori chicken was served. India……. Closer to Europe than Canada,  yes……but, alas, not on our trip itinerary so…..

On Saturday we spent the afternoon, and  well into the evening at 3rd beach in Vancouver. So really, “THE ONLY” thing we could do, was order sushi, and do a “pick up” enroute home.  I did however, once we returned home, boil water for a bowl full of edemame, and then added some super nice sea salt, but really, that is where the cooking ended for me on Saturday night.  Sunday night we were with “Grammy”, and cooking once again, was thankfully, out of my hands.

That brings us to today.

Since Mike was landing at YVR in the late afternoon after 10 days in Europe, my thought was, what better way to celebrate him being home, than with a European inspired dinner!

With my culinary training being mostly French, I decided not to stretch my comfort zone too much, and to once again look to France for inspiration.  I decided it was going to be a relatively easy meal….. Quiche Lorraine.   It’s a dish I thought both kids would enjoy, and, you know…..  it’s not overly complicated.  Brodie IS getting more adventurous with food, and Sydney… well she LOVES eggs…. win-win!

Hahahahaha…..

While shopping for the dinner I saw “THE BIGGEST ARTICHOKES” I had ever seen…..I  then proceeded to think of all the hundreds (and hundreds) of itty bitty small artichokes I cleaned over the years working in a professional kitchen for Artichokes Barigoule…. Now don’t be fooled people….. its “super fun”  cleaning 100’s of baby artichokes!….. you really should try it!  😉

At first I didn’t think too much about the artichokes, but then thoughts kept coming back to me and how much they remind me of France!  I do, however, think it’s mostly from photographs and cookbooks…… and not something that I remember from being there in  April 2000 while on my honeymoon.

It was right then I decided that we would have steamed artichokes and lemon butter as our vegetable accompaniment to our Quiche. YAY!  I also picked up some fresh kale as I knew the kiddies would love to help out with the prep for kale chips.

I had the kiddies pick and wash the kale.  They then helped splash the kale with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and placed it on the trays for the chips.  They were in heaven!  I prepped the artichokes and got them steaming as I knew they would take “a long time to steam” given their size.  The quiche was straight forward. Bacon, eggs, heavy cream, salt and pepper…… I decided to add Gruyere Cheese to the recipe even though the “cookbook” I have didn’t call for it…… the “recipe” that I know has cheese, and that was confirmed by many online searches…… just to make sure.

Dinner took a bit longer to bake then expected, so the kiddies ate the entire bowl of kale chips….. YAY!  Once dinner was on the table, Brodie looked intrigued by the steamed artichoke and lemon butter for dipping, as well by the “slice of egg pie” in front of him.  Sydney however, came to the table, and proclaimed with the most “sour” looking face…… “I don’t want that” and with tears in her eyes, she sat on the floor with her “Playmobil” doll house and sulked.

It turns out that Brodie actually LOVES artichokes… I actually think its a “butter and salt” thing, but I am willing to give it to him since he ate over half of the artichoke leaves! Sydney…. well she has no idea on the “awesome-ness” that she is missing out on!  She refused both the Quiche Lorraine, and the steamed artichokes with melted lemon butter…… and not to mention, SALT!  Since she is “THE BIGGEST” salt fiend around,  I know, she will one day be remorseful….. HELLO…….all that SALT!

Quiche Lorraine….. well……she was delightful and super tasty!  Everyone in the family was in agreement except for “Little Syd”…. hopefully next time little lady!

In the  cookbook I have, it states that Quiche Lorraine is traditional dish served it on “May Day” also known as Labour Day.  It is a French National Holiday and will be held on May 1 2012.  Looks like I’m jumping the gun a bit here, but that was “unintentional”….. pretty much like writing a food blog….. hmmmm…….. interesting.

Enjoy your Daily Dose

Xox

B.

Saturday night at Third Beach in Vancouver….. no…. I wasn’t going to cook!

Hello Lorraine!

The “LARGEST” artichokes EVER…. seriously…..no joke.

The “Little Chefs” cooking’ it up!

Fun with Kale!

The makings for our Quiche

Hello Lorraine… nice to “finally” see you!

Simple and delicious…. Steamed Artichokes with Lemon Butter

The little man is LOVING artichoke and I am super happy….  😉

With all the craziness we actually pulled it off……

…… a “themed dinner” that is!

I  wasn’t even sure if we would be able to pull off a “themed dinner” this past weekend as there was much to do……multiple birthday parties to attend, as well Mike had a 12 hour turn around between coming back from working in San Fran and then having to hop on a plane bound for Europe.

Friday night had the kids social calendar filled with the celebration of their friends 3rd birthday (Yay!).  With much socializing to be done, and great food being served, I took it as a sign that the themed dinner could wait a day (Yay!).

Saturday had Brodie and I attending another birthday party and saw Mike back, seated on a plane, bound for Heidelberg Germany, destined for a room at the hotel that we will all call home while we are there in June.

On Saturday, with all that was happening during the day, I definitely would have LOVED to have opted out of the “themed dinners” for one week and call it a sushi night with the kiddies at our favourite spot in Yaletown, but Brodie had a different idea.  At the end of the birthday party Brodie proclaimed that he wanted to make “homemade pizza”. OMG….. really….. I just wanted a menu plopped down in front of me knowing that both kiddies would have tummies full of sushi and no dishes to wash or kitchen to clean up.

With that said, after the party Brodie and I  made our way to the grocery store to purchase a few nessecities for the pizza. The whole time I was thinking…. “Pizza… but how does that fit into our themed nights of Gremany, France, and Spain, this trip does not include Italy….. Uuuggghhhh!”

Thats when my “aaaahhhhhh” moment happened! During my days in a professional kitchen, I was fortunate enough to work with a pretty awesome French Chef (Fabrice Rossman), at the Four Seasons in Vancouver.  One of the first dishes he put on the lounge menu when he took over as Executive Chef was Tarte Flambée…. an Alsatian version of Pizza!  Ha…. I could totally do pizza, and have us stay with our “themed night” after all.  I was super stoked!

I found it pretty funny that I actually had all of the ingredients at home for Tarte Flambée, all  while picking up the nesecities for Brodies and Sydneys pepperoni pizza (ironic…. no?).  Brodie and I  then made our way home to get started on the dough.  If its one thing Brodie likes to make …. its dough!  He loves the flour, rolling it out, and then creating little dough balls that he can come back to after a bit of time has passed to report “Look Mom ….. look how big its gotten because of the yeast” and then give the balls a good “smush” and start again.  Gottta love the little man!

I prepped the caramelized onions, rendered the lardon, got the cheese ready, and picked the thyme leaves for my tarte, all while Brodie rolled out his pizza shell and dressed his pizza with pepperoni and shredded mozzarella (we did the same for little Syd…. her FAVOURITE!).  It  looks like Brodie wanted to visit Italy and not France this past weekend……. well thats for ANOTHER trip “little Chef”!

I was really happy with how my Tarte Flambée turned out.  Not only was I super excited to keep with our weekly themed dinners, but the whole time making the “pizza” I thought about my career as a Chef, and all the Chefs, Sous Chefs, and fellow cooks that I looked upto, and what an impact they all have had on my life. I tell you it is nothing short of complete awesomeness!

The Tarte Flambée was amazing, super tasty…. something I think Chef Rossman, Chef Knaubert and Chef Bain would have been happy with……the flavour was super delicious  and I was in heaven. YUMMERS!  Brodie… ha……well….. not so much. He took a bite (and swallowed), then proclaimed it “wasn’t for him”, and that he “didn’t like it”.  I’m still so proud of the little man for trying something new and interesting.  Syd…… well……. she is still a “work in progress”. She didn’t even eat the pepperoni pizza offered to her let alone the Tarte Flambée. Looks like I really need to get farther into my book “French Kids eat Everything”……that is my goal for this week!

So I guess our family weekly themed dinners have turned out to be so much more than just a “themed” dinner after all. Funny how Brodie’s request for “pizza” actually turned into a night of refection and MY 10 year career as a professional Chef (and everyone involved in my journey).  There are sooooooo many Chefs to thank…… they are all so amazing (you all know who you are and the impact you had on my career!).  I am so proud of my time spent professionally cooking, and the people that I was so fortunate to have met and learned from.  So glad that I can now call you all friends……  Wow…… so freaking AMAZING …..you all totally ROCK and I so love it!

I love how this whole night turned out with Brodie asking for  “Homemade Pizza”

Enjoy your Daily Dose

Xox

B.

The “little Chef” at work

The “littlest Chef” getting in on the action

My Tarte Flambée