Happy St. Paddy’s day folks! Here’s a recipe to celebrate the occasion, albeit a bit late! If you don’t care for lamb, feel free to sub with stew beef.
- 1 lb of stew lamb or beef, cut into cubes
- 1 lb of potatoes, washed and cubed
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1-2 carrots, cut into chunks
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 3 tbsp. of fresh chopped parsley, save 1 tbsp. for garnish
- salt and pepper to your taste
- 2 cups beef broth or stock (gluten-free of course)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
- Layer the lamb meat, onion, potatoes, carrot and celery in an oven proof pot or casserole dish. Season each layer with parsley, salt and pepper as you go. Pour in the beef stock and cover tightly.
- Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours in the preheated oven, until vegetables and meat are very tender. Divide into bowls and garnish with additional parsley.
- I like to do mine in my clay pot, but pyrex or any other casserole will do!
Recently while in Mexico, we dined at the Pantenegra Restaurant and we had a Spanish omelet. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was feeling adventurous. We were delighted with the outcome. I half expected an omelet with a red sauce but it was more of an omelet filled with onions and potatoes. Oh so tasty!
So today, I was looking for inspiration and thought, I’m going to try and re-create that omelet and voila, I did it! I think I got pretty close to it. It is dairy-free, gluten-free and would be good for vegetarians as well! Here’s what I did:
- 6 eggs
- 1 can of potatoes, sliced or 1 large potato cooked, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 large onion sliced
- salt, pepper
- 1/4 c. fresh parsley
- 1-2 tbsp. olive oil for cooking
- Crack the eggs in a separate bowl and whip well.
- In a 9″ non-stick pan, sauté the onions. Remove from pan, set aside.
- In the same pan, brown the potatoes but just golden, don’t get them crispy.
- Once your potatoes are golden, add the onions back in, layered over the potatoes.
- Pour the eggs over top of that. Season with the salt and pepper, add in the parsley.
- Swirl the pan to be sure egg gets under the potatoes.
- Once the eggs are fairly set, place a dinner plate over the eggs and drop them on the plate.
- Now slide them (uncooked side down) back into the pan and cook till the bottom is as browned as the top of the omelet.
- We had ours with just a bit of salsa but truly it is delicious just as is!
While in Playa Del Carmen this year we had a few new finds and one of my favorites’ was the Little Tea Pot. Denis and I both very much enjoy a pot of tea, we share a pot most evenings, so when we found this spot only a block away from where we were staying, BONUS!
Denis really enjoys dessert when we are out to dinner but rarely do I get to because of my allergies. So this one evening my dear sweet hubby says let’s go check out that tea place and see if perhaps they’d have a treat for you! We walked in and beside their huge selection of teas, I mean huge, they had cupcakes, cookies and all kinds of things but I did not spot anything I could have. Then Denis says, hey Marie, can’t you have those macarons? By golly, I thought I’d gone to heaven! They were definitely gluten-free so I got myself an order of them.
That night the flavor of the macarons was blueberry and I was the happiest girl in the world! Not only did I have a great relaxing day at the beach, but a great dinner out at Pantenegra and then macarons! I mean, come on, how much can a girl take in one day?
So we went a few more times, just to keep them in business you know, not because I am greedy or anything! I tried the chocolate with peanut butter filling, there was lemon one day and I do believe I had strawberry on another occasion! I had to do a lot of walking to earn the points for macarons!
Because they were so good, I ordered a bunch to take home for the grand-kids. I have to say, they liked them just as much as I did. I had met with Karla the baker and she was more then gracious and created recipes that were dairy and gluten-free. I was most impressed when I picked them up and she had bagged them with little green ribbon and all.
My dear sweet husband gave Karla a generous tip as he told her that she had made my trip special, with her macarons. He wasn’t lying, that just made my trip when I was able to have a sweet that was homemade, pretty and delicious and gluten-free! They are reasonably priced and so very tasty. She makes different flavors always and you best get there early to be sure to get some!
If and when you are in Playa Del Carmen, be sure to stop into The Little Teapot on 5th avenue at 28th Caille. You will be very glad you did and while you’re at it, try the cherry tea, it is so very delish. Denis will tell you that the Irish whiskey Black tea was his favorite though. Maybe you just need to find out what your fave will be!
Recently my dear hubby Denis and I were in Playa Del Carmen again. When we go to Playa we usually rent a condo and do some of our own cooking but usually go out for dinner every night. We are on holidays after all! So, this year we heard of a place in town that serves up the best chicken and it was run by French/Parisienne people, called La Brocherie. This I had to check out. So one day while out on one of our adventures, we found it and stopped in.
We walked in and we were greeted with “Bonjour”, I thought it was a trick so I replied with “Bonjour, comment ca va?” Well, not only did they reply but we proceeded to have a French conversation! I could not believe my ears or eyes! What an amazing thing to be in another country of Spanish decent, but to find French speaking people! I loved that!
So we sat down and Arlette began to explain that their chicken is done in the French traditional way. They marinate it overnight in a certain way, then in the morning they stuff herbs under the skin and cook it slowly on the rotisserie. Let me just tell you, it is worth a flight to Mexico to have this chicken, it is so moist and tasty, truly delicious! I ordered the 1/2 chicken dinner so that I could take home leftovers, and that I did! The 1/2 chicken dinner was only 80 pesos which to me was very worth the dish, that translates to $8.00 Canadian! It came with rice and I think vegetables, to be honest I’ve lost track but I know for sure the rice was very tasty.
While eating our lunch, I read on their menu board that on Wednesdays they do beef bourgignone. I said to Denis, if their beef is half as good as this chicken, we need to come back on Wednesday! So we talked to Arlette about it and she explained the process of the dish and we booked a reservation for Wednesday.
We were greeted by Fabian who sat us at our reserved table and served us a lovely beverage! When the dish came, you could smell it coming, I kid you not. There was a big piece of beef in the middle of the plate, with a few potatoes and carrots, all sitting in this delicious beef gravy/sauce. I’m telling you, it was scrumptious! I cannot think of a word big enough to explain how delicious it was, tender, smooth beef in a perfectly flavored sauce. There was a hint of wine in it, very little salt, perhaps a bit of pepper and likely garlic, absolutely prize winning beef bourgignone. You don’t need to go to Paris for this dish, simply get yourself to Playa Del Carmen!
Let me just tell you that Fabian, the owner/chef is incredibly gifted in the kitchen! The Beef Bourgignon was far superior to any I have ever had. I have made this dish myself countless times but never did it taste like this.
While we were dining, Denis and I were chatting away and I said, Denis listen to our ‘neighbors’, we were surrounded by people speaking French! It was incredible, here we are in Mexico and the language I was hearing was French! Apparently word is out in the French Canadian community that Le Brocherie is the place to go on Wednesday nights! And why wouldn’t it, for $12 you get a top notch dinner and the friendliest service in town!
For the record, Fabian and his wife are the owners of the establishment, Fabian being the master chef with his delicious menu dishes and great recipes. Arlette is Fabian’s mother and is the hostess with a very bubbly personality and warmest of greetings. She had never met us before, yet spent time talking with us and giving us great tips on what to do and see in Paris for our next holiday.
Fabian and Arlette, I wish you much luck in the future in Playa, I know you’ve only been open less then a year but we’d never know it by your dishes. Keep up the good service, the delicious food and the very reasonable prices and people will continue to come and frequent your establishment!
My dear readers, if you find yourself anywhere close to Playa Del Carmen, you need to head over to La Brocherie on 15th Avenue between 4th and 6th streets.
Here’s a dry mix that you can keep in the spice cupboard and whip up a fresh dressing whenever the mood strikes you! Feel free to switch it up a bit to make it your own! (more/less of this or that!)
- 2 Tbsp dried, minced onion
- 2 tbsp. dry parsley flakes
- 1 tbsp. dried chives
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp celery salt
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp dill
- Mix all the ingredients together in a small jar and shake.
- To 1/2 cup mayo and 1/2 cup sour cream or buttermilk, add 1-2 tbsp. of seasoning to your tastes.
- serve over salad or use as a dip!
- For dairy free option, you can use goat’s yogurt and/or tofu sour cream.
In case you hadn’t noticed, I like my food, I like my meals, but snacks are very important business! I am back on the wagon, the Weight Watchers wagon that is, so snacks are fine but let’s rein them in, or so I’m told! Here are my top ten favourites, and I’ll even include their WW points value! Some days you need the low point snacks and some days the high point ones are what you want! Here are a few options for you. If you have ideas for more, please comment and I will make another list!
Top Ten Snacks
- Kale chips ( 2 cups kale, 1 Tbsp olive oil) = 3 points per serving
- Rice cake with 1 Tbsp peanut butter (natural, chunky)=3 points
- Baked Corn tortillas x 3( season with taco seas. and spray with Pam) serve with salsa = 3 points
- Rice crackers (12) with 1 Tbsp almond butter = 4 points
- Popcorn (2 cups popped) with 1 Tbsp olive oil = 5 points
- Roasted Chick peas (1/4 cup serving) = 2 points
- Lentil chips (22 chips) = 2 points
- Almonds, raw, unsalted (1/4 cup) = 4 points
- Lime avocado ( cut avocado in half, squeeze lime juice and top with black pepper) = 5 points per half.
- Raw veggies with Hummus (carrots, celery, cukes, peppers) = 2 points per 2 tbsp.
Enjoy folks, I enjoy hearing what your favourite snacks are!
Another nosh for the big game! this is easy, tasty and healthy! No need to eat junk all day when you can have good stuff! Here’s how:
- head of kale, washed, dried and chopped
- 1-2 tbsp. olive oil (2 if large head of kale)
- sea salt to taste
- Be sure to dry your kale well, or it may not crispen up.
- Toss the kale with the olive oil and salt a bit. other seasonings can be used as well.
- Roast in oven at 375 till crispy, 15-25 minutes. Keep an eye on it!
- This recipe makes 4 servings, 1 point per serving.