Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Country Classics

All this July rain here in Quebec is making me think about Fall sweaters, jackets and boots. I just got the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living and got inspired by their article on classics. In this economy it seems wiser to splurge on a few well-made, quality basics that will never go out of style. Here's what I'm coveting right now:

Barbour Jacket

This 100-year old British company makes, "...a wardrobe of clothes for country pursuits, country living and for those that simply love the country".

This ladies flyweight international wax quilted jacket ($354) is not only practical, but completely fierce. It would be pefect for the cool, wet night in the country, but I would wear it in the city too.

There are many lesser priced styles I would gladly take as well--especially the quilted jackets. Note: these jackets are in UK sizes so a US size 8 would be a UK 12.

Aran Sweater

I love these classic wool fisherman's sweaters. Hammacher Schlemmer has these hand knit classics on sale right now for only $89.95. Made from merino wool is creamy ecru, I'm sure at this price they won't last long.

Hermes Scarf

I've never been into the big status brands, but I have to say that the Hermes scarf is one item that I would consider splurging on. Each scarf can take up to 1000 hours to complete from design to handstitching the hem.

I love this Christopher Columbus design ($375) in shades of brown, orange and green.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blueberry BBQ sauce

I blogged about this recipe in June 2008, but it really bears repeating. I just whipped up a batch with fresh Quebec blueberries and grilled out on the deck. Deee-lish! The sweetness of the blueberries with a subtle kick is a perfect compliment to the pork.

Pork Tenderloin with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce


2 pints (5 to 6 cups) blueberries
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup ketchup
1 jalapeƱo pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. dry mustard Meat:
2 one-pound pork tenderloins
Salt and freshly ground pepper

To make sauce: Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 45 minutes. Divide sauce between 2 bowls. Set aside.

To make meat: Preheat grill to medium. Season pork with salt and pepper. Sear, turning to cook all sides, 10 to 15 minutes. Brush with half the barbecue sauce, turning frequently, until pork is thoroughly glazed, about 10 minutes more (a meat thermometer should read about 150°). Set aside and let rest 5 minutes. Carve crosswise; serve with remaining barbecue sauce.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Kicking Horse Coffee

I am a huge fan of dark roast coffee, but never found a dark roast I really liked in Montreal--they were too bitter or not full-bodied enough. I would even go so far as to bring a pound of Peet's coffee with me on my trips up here. Well, all that has changed! Kicking Horse coffee which is located in British Columbia makes an outstanding dark roast coffee aptly named Kick Ass. I actually think I may bring some of this with me back to California.

I have not tried the other roasts yet. Although on the website they provide a handy flavor guide to each roast as well as information about the blend and where the beans come from.

Best of all this coffee is organic and free trade certified so you can feel good about your habit.