Pierre Hermé, Paris

February 20, 2014

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During my visit to Paris last weekend, I was delighted to finally check out the famed pâtisserie Pierre Hermé on rue Bonaparte in the sixth arrondissement. Pierre Hermé is an acclaimed French pastry chef who Vogue dubbed, “The Picasso of Pastry,” and upon entering his boutique it is not hard to see why. Rows upon rows of meticulously crafted brioche, millefeuille, ganache and truffles sat next to hundreds of brightly coloured, shimmering macarons. He has several boutiques, including a couple in London and Tokyo, however, the one I visited in Saint-Germain des Prés is his first boutique, opened in 2002, and perhaps his most special. Read More…

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Snickarbacken 7, Stockholm

February 13, 2014

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On my first day in Stockholm, I quickly learned the café culture is huge part of life for people living in the city. We visited a few very good coffee shops during our visit, with one in particular really standing out and that was Snickarbacken 7. This hip little café rivalled some of my favourite spots in NYC’s East Village (this is a huge compliment coming from a 7+ year east village former resident), so I am excited to share some snaps and tell you more about it. It’s located on a tiny side street in the city centre and is in fact not only a café, but an exhibition space and a concept store all in one. It has this cool purple lighting and lot of funky furniture and cutting-edge decor. The idea of a Read More…

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Post image for Östermalms Korvspecialist, Stockholm

On our last day in Stockholm, we made a visit to the famous Östermalms Korvspecialist, a gourmet “hot dog stand” that cooks up mouth-watering sandwiches a few steps away from the Östermalms food hall.  The stand has been featured on many food shows and makes an appearance in my trusty Where Chefs Eat book, so, with all this fuss, I initially wasn’t sure if the food would live up to all of the buzz. Read More…

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Post image for Restaurant Frantzén, Stockholm

My husband and I spent a snowy weekend in the Swedish capital of Stockholm, where we enjoyed a memorable meal at 2-Michelin starred Restaurant Frantzén. Located on scenic Lilla Nygatan in the historic Gamla Stan district, Frantzén impressed us from the moment we were met by the dapper doorman standing outside the restaurant. We opted to do the “early supper,” which allowed us to take our time and enjoy what turned out to be a true gastronomic journey.

Led by chef Björn Frantzén, the cuisine can best be described as “modern Scandinavian,” however, it’s more than that and the dishes touch on different influences from around the world, including, most notably, Asian cooking. Although there is no disputing the food is innovative and top notch, what got my attention was the Read More…

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Social Eating House, London

January 23, 2014

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Friday night we checked out Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House, a more casual sequel to his Michelin-starred Mayfair eatery, Pollen Street Social (see my review here). Located in bustling Soho, the restaurant focuses on modern British cuisine and presents a sleek, buzzy atmosphere with dim lighting, quirky artwork and closely-packed wooden tables. We ate in the ground floor dining room, however, Read More…

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Post image for Cheesy Quinoa & Mushroom Burgers

These Cheesy Quinoa & Mushroom Burgers have become a go-to meal for me. In fact, I have made them at least 4 times in the past month. They are so hearty and satisfying and with a little prep, make for a healthy, casual meal. Quinoa is known as a “superfood” in the health world because it is one of the few grains that is a complete protein, unlike wheat or rice.  Quinoa also packs in significant amounts of dietary fiber, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.

I like the fact that these veggie burgers feature quinoa, rather than just starchy beans like most veggie burgers usually do. The burgers are made with onion, mushrooms, cheese, pecans, an egg and a dash of soy sauce and sprinkling of herbs. The result is Read More…

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Lima Restaurant, London

January 15, 2014

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This weekend my husband and I checked out Lima, a Michelin-starred Peruvian restaurant in Fitzrovia. I had high expectations for Latin American chef Virgilio Martinez’s London restaurant after reading some above average critic reviews and having a bit of trouble getting a primetime reservation (persistence on TopTable is key). We had an 8:30 p.m. friday night table and while I initially envisioned a dark, buzzy and lively scene, it was quiet and bright, and everything from the ambience to the service fell a little flat. All that aside, we were there to dine, so I was willing to forgive all of that if the food was extraordinary. Read More…

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Post image for Roasted Chicken with Clementines & Rosemary

I was browsing through Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Jerusalem, and was inspired by a unique recipe for roasted chicken with clementines and Arak, an anise-based Lebanese spirit. I have been spotting leafy clementines at my local farmer’s market lately – it is peak season after all – so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to cook up a savory dish featuring this sweet and juicy fruit. I didn’t have some key ingredients in Ottolenghi’s recipe on hand (mainly the Arak and fennel), so I decided to get creative and create something a little different on my own, still of course featuring some lovely clementines.

I first marinated the chicken in olive oil, orange juice, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar, and then tossed it with thin slices of fresh clementines, a generous sprinkling of fresh rosemary and a few pieces of onion. I then roasted it in the oven until cooked through and golden. The combination of zesty orange along with the caramelization from the brown sugar and the sweetness of the balsamic vinegar created a delicious, light and flavorful sauce. This recipe is so easy and perfect for a quick, throw-together meal. Serve it with a green vegetable and/or rice if you can spare the carbs. Enjoy!!! Read More…

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Cherry Vanilla Popsicles

January 9, 2014

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My latest food obsession: popsicles. I got a Zoku Classic Pop Mold from my Mom this Christmas and I have been having a blast experimenting with different homemade popsicle recipes. It’s very easy to make popsicles into a healthy snack full of nutritious ingredients like fruit, Greek yogurt and a small amount of honey or agave nectar. Of course, you can go wild with “ice cream” style pops complete with half & half and melted semisweet chocolate, but since I am on my New Years health kick, I am sticking with the low-cal varieties for now.

One of my favorite combinations is cherry and vanilla. To make the pops, I Read More…

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Layered Vegetable Bake

January 7, 2014

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I hope everyone had a wonderful festive season and enjoyed a lot of delicious food with your loved ones! For those of you like myself who may have overindulged a little too much (see here), I am excited to introduce the first of several healthy recipes this month here on The Chic Brûlée. I refuse to sacrifice on taste, so all of my healthy recipes are not only low in calories and carbs, but delicious in their own right as well.

I recently picked up a copy of Honestly Healthy by Natasha Corrett and Vicki Edgson, a cookbook that follows the trendy alkaline diet, beloved by the likes of Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow (just sayin’). The diet discourages ‘very acid forming’ foods like starchy grains and vegetables (pasta, wheat, beans, etc.) as well as all dairy products, meat, and fish, because, in their opinion, these foods are bad for you. It also promises many health benefits and aims to reduce the amount of internal stress on the body. Although I am NOT following the diet in its entirety, I was excited to try out a few recipes in the book and add them to my healthy eating repertoire.

Last night I made a divine Layered Vegetable Bake. A sort of “lasagna,” Read More…

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