Canada 2012, The Grand Finale

First off: I am sorry this is so late.  No excuses…just enjoying the summer! 🙂

OKAY…I realize I am making this subject probably a bit more than it actually is by stretching it to 3 posts.  I mean, let’s be honest.  My traveling to my birth land is not all that exciting in theory and on paper (or in post) but I am that much of a nerd. So here goes this grand finale…please do not think less of me even if you feel I am being quite self-indulgent.

Here’s where I want to end: Chuck Hughes.  Yes.  Again.  Yes.  I am a bit smitten.  Yes.  It is probably good for him that I live 15 hours away.

Garde-Manger Cookbook

My mom bought me his cookbook.  I actually cried a little while reading it.  You think I am kidding?

I wanted to go to his restaurant so bad but under the rushed circumstances we couldn’t get a reservation (1-2 month wait!  yikes).  You might think that I would be the type to try my luck at the door and “force” my way in.  You would be wrong….I do fear public confrontation and embarrassing myself in order to feed myself is not my cup of tea.

So here’s the next best thing (well not really but I didn’t have many options)  I made 2 recipes from his book.

#1 Cookies…. I know I am so predictable, but would you believe me if I told you I can judge a man by the cookies he can make?  I am only half kidding 😉

aaaaah Cookies always put a smile on my face 🙂

Ice Cream Sandwiches Cookies: (that’s the name of the recipe in the book but in reality it is; Oatmeal Chocolate Chips Cookies with store bought ice cream)


1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 cup butter, melted

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

pinch salt

2 1/2 cups large-flake rolled oats

1 1/2 cups finely chopped chocolate

ice cream, any flavor you like

How to:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease or line your baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.  Set aside.

In a bowl, whisk the brown sugar into the melted butter.  Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until everything is nicely blended.  In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Stir into the brown sugar mixture, then blend in the oats and chocolate.

Using a scoop or large spoon drop your dough on your prepared baking sheets and bake in your preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned.

Let them cool and make sandwiches with them.

moist and perfectly chocolaty cookies

Note: I  barely let them cooled before I was shoving them in my mouth!  Delicious!

#2 Cocktail: a very important step in my research!

Summer Cocktail….always a good time

Vodka with fresh Vanilla and Crushed Strawberries


Vanilla Vodka:

3 vanilla beans

1 bottle vodka

Crushed Strawberries:

1/2 cup strawberries (I used about 4-5 strawberries)

Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon sugar


Fresh Strawberries

Vanilla Bean, split lengthwise (I didn’t have any)

How to:

For the vanilla vodka:

Split the vanilla beans in half, scrape out the seeds, and put the beans and seeds into a full bottle of vodka.  Cap it.  Let steep in a cool, dark place for 1 month.

OR: buy Vanilla Vodka from a lovely liquor store and make the drink sooner!

For the crushed strawberries:

Crushed the strawberries with the lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar.

In a shaker, put 2-ounces of vanilla vodka, all the crushed strawberries and a big handful of ice cubes (crushed is easier in my opinion).  Shake well.  Strain into a glass and garnish with fresh strawberries and a split vanilla bean.

so refreshing

Note: I didn’t strain it because I like the crushed ice in my drink.  Do what you like.

Confession: I didn’t make my own vanilla vodka…I also forgot to buy Vanilla Vodka…so my next best option was to add about 1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  It worked just fine.  I make my own vanilla so I guess that added some redeeming qualities to the drink!

Just know that this was an amazingly delicious drink, I love the hint of vanilla and the beautiful crushed strawberries.  Perfect summer drink!

I hope you enjoyed both recipes and give them a try.  His cookbook is lovely and I know I will try more but I must be honest and tell you it is not for the amateur cook.  LOTS of steps, rare techniques and expensive ingredients, I guess all in due time.

Printer Friendly: Ice Cream Sandwiches Cookies

Printer Friendly:Vodka with fresh Vanilla and Crushed Strawberries

Peace and Let’s be Grand,



3 thoughts on “Canada 2012, The Grand Finale

  1. Awwwwwwww, Isabelle… I was SO hoping you’d get to meet Chef Hughes, or at least have dinner at his restaurant — but cookies and cocktails seem like a good compromise. 🙂

  2. I’m proud of your adventure with strawberries !!! Maybe it’s the vodka changing your mind! Lol
    P.S. love the cover of the book… I understand your obsession. He makes COOKIES!
    ❤ you!

I love your I love cookies,please leave one ;)

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