I’m a french canadian graphic designer from Montréal, Quebec who loves to bake as a way to, well…
…forget my every day routine and escape in a world of sweets and treats! I have created my blog 2 years ago just for fun, and now it has become a way of life. Man, I spend way to much time on this! My nickname as since become “Bibitte à sucre” (“sugar bug”), a french expression meaning that I have a huge sweet tooth.
How long have you been a Daring Baker/Daring Cook and what’s your favorite thing about being in the group(s) so far?
I joined the Daring Bakers in March 2008 and what I love about it is that I learn something new from every challenge. Plus I get to make those amazingly decadent cakes that I would have never had the courage to bake unless someone had forced me to! lol
What’s your favorite kitchen gadget? How about your favorite kitchen appliance?
I am now the proud owner of a food processor and I don’t know how I managed to live so long without it. There is nothing this little fellow can’t handle! I use it almost every time I cook or bake.
As for kitchen gadgets, I don’t own so many but I do have lots of cookie cutters. I just love making cookies. Who doesn’t?
Are you known for making a certain dish or dessert? If so, what is it?
From what my friends told me, I make great preserves and jams, my maple sugar pavlovas are the closest thing to heaven and my “Tarte au sucre” (sugar pie… that’s a french canadian thing, don’t ask…) is to die for.
Is there any recipe and/or technique that we haven’t covered yet that you’d really like to make/learn?
“Pâte à choux” is my worst nightmare. I get goose bumps just talking about it! But I would like to give it a try and conquer my fear.
Do you have a favorite movie? Book? Genre of music? Actor? Actress?
I have many many favorite movies. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy might be a little old, but it is still on top of my list. I know every character’s part! Yes, I’m a geek…
You’ve just won $5000.00!!! But it comes with some stipulations.. you can’t spend it on your kids or your significant other! This is all YOURS. What would you spend it on? (we’re also going to fantasize that you have no bills whatsoever! Woo!! Hehee)
A trip is the first thing that comes to mind. I would go back to Peru, where I spent two weeks 2 years ago. The best experience of my life! But this time, I would stay for a month and take the time to fully experience peruvian cuisine.
What is the ultimate comfort food to you?
Cheesecake is the best. It combines my two favorite things in life : Sugar and cheese… Plus you can bake it a thousand times and still find ways to make it unique, adding fruits, chocolate, nuts, Matcha green tea, or anything you can think of (anchovies, anyone?)
Which season (Winter, Summer, Spring, Fall) is your favorite.. why?
Summer of course, because it is the only time you don’t freeze your butts off here in Quebec. 2 weeks in August, and that’s about it! We wait for it all year long, and within the blink of an eye, it’s already over… sigh…
Other than cooking and/or baking.. what hobbies do you enjoy?
I am a serious Kung-Fu martial artist. How else would I stay in shape with all the desserts I eat? I train regularly and should get my black sash (that’s how we call the belt) at the end of 2010. I also enjoy hiking and watching movies… lots of movies.
How long have you been blogging? Do you like it? What’s your favorite post you’ve written?
I started in March 2007 and I am now posting every other day, which is a lot of work! But I really enjoy it. Sometimes, I start resizing pictures and typing my recipes in the evening and the next thing I know, it’s way past midnight and I’m still at it… I don’t have a favorite post, but I do have lots of favorite recipes. I can’t name one though, there are too many!
What’s your favorite cookbook for desserts/baking? What’s your favorite cookbook for savory/cooking?
Internet has become my favorite source for recipes, and the only cookbook I consult on a regular basis. I do have many cookbooks, but they are just not that usefull anymore. My brain is a pretty good cookbook too, I find all sorts of weird recipe ideas in there.
If you could bake/cook with other Daring Bakers/Daring Cooks, who would they be and why?
I would love to bake with someone who as a much different cultural background than me. Like someone from South America, Japan or India. That way we could learn from each other and I would get to taste all that amazing food I don’t have access to here in Quebec.
What’s your favorite flower and/or plant?
I love those blue daisies that grow on the side of the road. They are wild flowers, and I don’t know their scientific name, but they are so cute. Can’t bring them home though, as they will fade as soon as you pick them.
Do you have a favorite local restaurant? If so, why is it your favorite and what kind of food is served there?
Three Amigos is my favorite place in Montreal. Great mexican food, lots of flavors and colors, and gigantic slushie margueritas! My God, it is like a small swimming pool with a huge straw… My favorite dish is the chicken flautas with peach salsa, guacamole and refried beans. I could eat this for the rest of my life and be happy.
Who taught you how to cook and/or bake?
I learned watching my mom, and she is still an inspiration today. When I was young, she made a lot of comfort food (I grew up on pot roast and meat loaf…) but with time she became a very accomplished cook.
What’s your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas! It is something that I start planning 6 months in advance (No kidding, I begin making lists of everything I want to bake in June…) I love to give edible presents, since cooking is what I’m good at. So every year, I prepare a little package for every one I love (and that means lots and lots of packages…) filled with jams, cookies, homemade chocolates and truffles, candied nuts and all sorts of sweets. Christmas is no vacation for me, it is the busiest time of the year!
Reading any good books lately? Which ones?!
“Kafka on the Shore” by Haruki Murakami, my new favorite writer. So imaginative and magic… This book transports the reader in a world where cats talk, people come back from the dead and every character’s destiny is linked to another’s. A must read!
You’ve had a rough week. We feel your pain. How do you relax after a rough week?
I bake! I know it’s crazy, but baking and cooking really helps me to relax and clear my mind of all the work-related stuff. So everytime I feel stressed out or anxious, I rush to the kitchen and make crumbles, pies, cookies and cupcakes. And eat them, of course… Eat them all!
Where is your favorite vacation (holiday) destination?
I love to visit my family on holidays. My parents don’t live too far (about a one hour drive) so every chance I get, I visit them and bring some dessert.
What is your favorite cooking/food related magazine? Why?
I don’t read any magazines, it would ruin me if I bought one every time I see something yummy on the cover.
Aside from chocolate for most of us, do you have a food addiction?
I’m really into cheese right now. Cream cheese that is, and goat cheese too. I put it in a bol, add a big spoonful of nutella or peanut butter, stir a bit, and eat. I know, that’s terrible! Nutella and peanut butter should be banished from this planet, they are way to addictive!
What did you eat for dinner last night? Did you prepare it or someone else?
I ate a Tostada which I prepared myself : A fried tortilla topped with letuce, refried beans, tomato, avocado, hot salsa and grated mozarella cheese. I love that meal! It is so good. I really should move to Mexico…
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Eating nutella or peanut butter directly from the jar with a spoon while watching a good movie, wrapped up in a blanket on the couch. Shame on me…
What kind of colors do you like? Pastels? Earth tones? Brights? Neons? Etc.
My favorite color is green, because it remings me of nature and Granny Smith apples (my favorites!). I even had my hair dyed bright green for some time (!) I also wear a lot Earth tones, brown and beige and turquoise.
If you had the choice of a free kitchen, bathroom, living room or bedroom makeover – which would you choose and why?
I must say the kitchen. It is where I spend most of my day, and it is also the smallest room in my appartment. Can you believe I have to put up with roughly 2 square foots of counter as a workspace? I don’t know how I manage to cook such chef-d’oeuvres with so little space…
The Martha – Angel of Domestication or Minion of Evil? Why?
Well, being a french girl from Quebec, I must say Martha is not an issue here. We have our own kitchen icons : Ricardo, Daniel Pinard and Martin Picard just to name a few. I don’t suppose you know any of them, but they might conquer the world of cuisine in the next few years, so watch out Martha!
Do you watch any competitive cooking shows? Like Top Chef or Hell’s Kitchen? If so, which is your favorite and why?
I used to watch Iron Chef, the original japanese version of course, because it’s much funnier. That chairman is one weird dude! I mean, what’s up with the shirts?!