Category Archives: Kitchen Adventures

What Is Not a Burpee and Makes You Cry?

If you have been doing the Spartan ‘30 burpees for 30 days’ challenge over the past 24 days, it’s impossible to think of anything that would make you WANT to cry more than a burpee. Right?

#30burpeesfor30 days

Little that I knew, it’s an onion that actually MAKES you cry like a BABY! I know! I was floored myself when I realized this, but let me start from the very beginning.

Let’s have a little geography lesson. Canada is that huge country right over the United States of America. We don’t live in igloos nor do we have snow everywhere all year long. *I can’t believe some people still think that!* The only thing that is probably true is that everything (labels, official letters etc.) must be written in both English and French. La seule chose qui est probablement vrai est que touts (étiquettes, lettres officielles, etc.) doivent être écrite en anglais et en français. Okay, stop, it’s annoying! Ok, arrêtes, ça m’énerve! Sh*t. Merde. Anyhow, you get the gist of it, EH?!! Haha!


Montreal, the beautiful city I live in, is located in the province of Quebec. It is a very multicultural city, and I love it. Why? Because it means that you have lots of friends with different cultural backgrounds. And, let me tell you, it’s a heaven when it comes to trying out different kinds of food! YUMM!

Anyhow, last weekend, I felt like paying a little tribute to my province and figured I’d make a French Onion Soup (recipe found on, which I’d heard a lot about, but never actually tried.

I mean, I knew that the preparation involved slicing SOME onion (duh!), but I had NO freaking *Sorry! It was really painfull* idea how much of it! So yes, I was crying like a baby while slicing 4 LARGE onions, and let me specify, in THIN slices! It didn’t help that my husband kept on making fun of me either! What an experience!

The soup was a huge success: It was so delicious *my husbands is still raving about it*! And I finally got a chance to use some cute bowls that we got as a gift last Christmas! *BONUS*

French Onion Soup ingredients


4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt *don’t skip, it’s important for proper caramelization of onions*
2 large red onions, thinly sliced
2 large yellow sweet onions, thinly sliced
1.8 liters water
3 chicken broth cubes
1 beef broth cube
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 sprigs fresh parsley
1 sprig fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 thick slices of French or Italian bread
8 slices of Swiss cheese, room temperature
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese, room temperature
4 pinches paprika


  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in salt, red and yellow sweet onions. Cook for 30-35 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized and almost syrupy.
  2. Mix water, chicken and beef broth cubes, Worcestershire sauce and red wine into the pot. Bundle the parsley, thyme, and bay leaves with s twine and place in pot.
  3. Simmer over medium hit for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard the herbs. Reduce the heat to low, mix in vinegar and season with pepper (and salt if needed).
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven broiler. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet and broil 2-3 minutes, turning once, until well toasted on both sides. Remove heat, but don’t turn off the broiler.
  5. Arrange 4 large oven proof bowls or crocks on a rimmed baking sheet. Fill each bowl with 2/3 full with hot soup. Top each bowl with 1 slice of toasted bread, 2 slices of Swiss cheese and ¼ of mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle a pinch of paprika over the top of each bowl.
  6. Broil for about 5 minutes *maybe less if you place it at the top* until bubbly and golden brown. As it softens, the cheese will cascade over the sides of the crock and form a beautifully melted crusty seal. Serve immediately!

French Onion Soup Gratinée

Bon appétit!

If you’re not in the mood to cut some onions, check out:

And if you need a drink, Gluhwein is a perfect remedy! Trust me on this one!

Let me know about your favorite dishes in winter in the comments below! I love hearing from you!


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You might think I’m lame, but let me tell you something. I am a wannabe Italian! Don’t judge! At least, I’m married to a real one, so my future babies will be half Italian! *BINGO* Haha!

I’ve been in love with Italians since my early childhood. Why? Because of Lieutenant Columbo! I know, I know, Peter Falk wasn’t even Italian, but it didn’t matter! I was a little girl who was utterly smitten by his persona. Stop laughing! I’m sure you were too! Oh c’mon, think of his signature costume: rumpled raincoat over a suit-and-tie. How couldn’t you?! He was so adorable!!!

Anyhow, about 2 and a half year ago, my husband and I traveled to Italy. It was the first time for both of us. We visited Venice and Rome… and my heart stayed there. I don’t think I can ever get over the beauty of Italy: the people, language, nature, history, architecture… everything!… including the FOOD!

Italian cuisine is probably one of my favorites. I admire it for its simplicity, rich flavors and hearty meals! In other words, I MARRIED WELL! *happy dance*

A few years back, I came across a recipe for Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan Soup). It is soooooo good that it hits the spot every single time, especially on cold winter days! Okay, okay, go try it and then thank me later!

Zuppa Toscana


  •  1 pound of mild Italian sausage
  • 1 teaspoon of red crushed chilli
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 x 946 ml Organic Chicken Broth
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 3 tablespoons of corn starch
  • 1/4 bunch of fresh spinach, stems removed
  • 1/2 tablespoon of fennel seeds


  1. In a large saucepan, cook the Italian sausage and red crushed chilli until brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in minced garlic and onion. Cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the chicken broth, and bring to the boil over high heat.
  4. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender.
  5. In a cup, combine cold milk with corn starch, and mix well. *can be substituted by 1 cup of heavy cream*
  6. Reduce the heat to medium, add milk mixture; heat through. Add fennel. Mix the spinach into the soup right before serving.

Zuppa Toscana is ready!

Buon apetito!

Also, if you missed it last week, make sure to check out my Butternut Squash Soup Recipe, which is absolutely delicious! Your tummy will be thankful!



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It’s a Hump Day, You Need a Drink!

First of, CONGRATULATIONS on making it so far! Two more days and it’s the weekend! WOOHOOO! Second of all, I DON’T have a drinking problem, and, yes, you NEED that drink, and it is okay! Haha!

With the holiday season quickly approaching, we often are in the mood for a special treat: it could be a hot chocolate with whipped cream, an eggnog latte or… GLUHWEIN!… Wait! What in the world is it???

Glühwein (“glow wine”) or, as it is also called, mulled wine, is in essence a warm mix of wine, spices (such as clove and cinnamon), orange and sugar or honey. This alcohol beverage has its origins in Germany, where it is very popular to this day, especially during Christmas holidays. The drink was reportedly created back in the XV century, when thrifty Germans decided to add a few things to the wine that started going bad to make it drinkable again. That is INSANE, don’t you find?!

Glühwein is perfect for wine lovers! I can guarantee you that this mixture will warm you right down to the tips of your toes and make your day so much better and special! WORD!

The perfect way of drinking it would be curled up under the blanket with your loved one, listening to a crackling sound of a fireplace *which I don’t have, BUMMER!*… Just writing this makes me want to go up north to mountains and be surrounded only by nature!

On another note, you’d be surprised, but Glühwein has many health benefits too! *Uhemmm… when drunk in moderation…*

• Cinnamon reduces blood sugar & boosts antioxidant levels
• Orange is a great source of vitamin C
• Red wine – prevents heart disease & increases levels of ‘good’ cholesterol


Original recipe makes 6 (4 ounce) servings


1 750 ml bottle of dry red wine (merlot, shiraz, cabernet or zinfandel)
½ cup of orange juice
¼ cup of honey
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
1 orange, sliced into 6 pieces
12 whole cloves


1. In a large saucepan, combine orange juice, honey, nutmeg and cinnamon. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer.
2. Embed 2 whole cloves in each orange slice and add to mixture.
3. Simmer for 30 minutes, until thick and syrupy.
4. Pour in the wine warm at low heat until steaming but not simmering. Add more sugar or honey to taste.
5. Strain out whole spices and orange slices, and serve hot in glass mugs that have been preheated in warm water (otherwise, they can break), garnished with a cinnamon stick or an orange slice.

Gluhwein is ready!


**Important! Do not boil!**
** Also since the drink is warm, it gives an extra kick, don’t drink and drive!**



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The Luckiest Girl Alive

C’mon guys, it’s NOT always about shopping! A girl CAN be happy for other reasons too, okay? Haha!

The reason I consider myself the luckiest girl alive is because about 6 months ago my husband changed his job! Without a doubt, I was super happy for his new endeavor, but listen to this… He started cooking for me!!! No, he is not a cook neither does he work in the food industry; he simply started finishing work earlier than I do! And let me tell you, it is SUCH A TREAT when you get home and supper is ready! I still can’t get over the fact, I am so happy!

Usually, Monday nights are our grocery nights, and I LOVE our trips to Costco! This Monday was very special because we were able to pick up some butternut squash. I know, I know, it is so passé, especially toward the end of November; but to me it meant that Justin was going to make his SIGNATURE Butternut Squash soup! Wooohoooo!

This time around, we coordinated a bit, because I wanted to be a part of his fiasco. Frankly, I don’t quite understand why I even bothered, because normally when you get married it goes like this: What’s his is mine, what’s mine is mine. No? Just kidding! I indeed wanted to help him out and at the same time to document this little kitchen adventure for you.

Therefore, without further ado, I would like to introduce you to our signature Butternut Squash soup recipe which should be enough for 6 servings, or in other words, you get to have seconds!!! *drool*

Butternut Squash Soup


  •  6 tablespoons of chopped onion or a medium-sized onion
  • 4 tablespoons of margarine
  • 6 cups of peeled and cubed butternut squash (we used an entire pack from Costco)
  • 4 ½ cups of chicken broth ( in my opinion, vegetable broth would be fine too)
  • ½ teaspoon of marjoram
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
  •  1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (better if grounded)


  1.  In a large saucepan, sauté onion in margarine until tender. Add butternut squash, chicken broth, marjoram, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil and cook until squash is tender.
  2. Puree the mixture in a blender until smooth. Return to saucepan to heat through, but don’t let to boil.

**The original recipe also called for 4 to 8 ounces of cream cheese, depending on how rich you like your soup; we skipped on it and had no regrets (healthier version: check!!!). If you’d like to give it a try, add cream cheese to the mixture in a blender.**

Your butternut squash soup is ready!

Bon appétit!



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