Pullman Wine Bar

I don’t usually post restaurant reviews on my blog, because I like to keep the content I post non region-specific. However, I love Montreal, so from now on I’ll be posting the occasional review of local hotspots. You can find the collection of these posts under the category name “Montreal”.

Nestled in between a massive hotel reconstruction and a hot new New York City style cafe, Pullman bar a vin is a bit of a hidden gem. A recent informal poll of the local student population revealed that about 50% don’t even know it’s there, despite its location directly across the street from one of the major grocery stores in the area. Granted, from the outside it doesn’t really look like much, the interior is usually fairly dark and all that distinguishes the restaurant is a simple white sign. Step inside, though, and you’re greeted with a massive, sparkling chandelier made of stemware. The lights are low, the music is pumping, and the atmosphere is bubbling with conversation and clinking glasses.

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Butter Tart Squares

Stress baking.

A term that unfortunately I am all too familiar with.

For some bizarre reason, whenever I feel:

a) Out of it; b) Stressed; c) Like there aren’t enough hours in the day; d) All of the above

I get an urge to escape those awful feelings and bake something, preferably something that doesn’t take up too much time, is delicious, and can be shared with friends should I ever have enough time for a social life. It’s a fairly counter-intuitive process, since baking something usually takes up time and energy, but it happens anyway. Stress baking isn’t logical, y’all!

The past couple days, I’ve been really nervous for my midterm exam (tomorrow) in my Cognition class. There’s a ton of information to learn, including 11 extremely detailed coronal sections of the human brain, and yes, I am expected to learn every single structure. Is it bad to admit that I’ve only memorized 7 so far?

Plus I have NaNo, plus I have exercise class tonight, plus I’m not sure what I’m going to make for dinner. Probably perogies. I was also a bit peeved/irritable because I did a work-out video yesterday, hoping it would pump me with some endorphins and give me a little energy boost. NO SUCH LUCK. Instead I felt even more exhausted and irritable. Boo!

So this morning, when I woke up, I decided to make butter tart squares. That just sounds like all kinds of goodness, doesn’t it? They’re extremely easy, require very few ingredients, and are probably the most delicious thing you’ll eat all week. Let me show you how to make them.

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Summer Scenes

  1. The most incredible lunch, at Jean Talon market
  2. Favourite delivery food, eaten curbside with M
  3. Soul Rebels Brass Band at the Montreal International Jazz Festival
  4. A flypass in honour of the Royals visiting Ottawa
  5. My little housewarming party, complete with fruit-filled sparkling sangria and wonderful friends
  6. Battling live lobster
  7. Pints of cider at the perfect window seat, on Canada Day
  8. The fireworks display from Major’s Hill
  9. Remnants of outstanding nachos
  10. An espresso at one of many Starbucks runs

Life has lately been a blur of picture-perfect scenes, not all of which I’ve been able to capture on film. Between work, moving into a new apartment, running errands and spending time with friends, my blog (as well as various other beloved hobbies) appears to have fallen by the wayside. I am experiencing severe blog guilt, but can’t seem to find an hour to just sit down and write. I hope you’ll accept my photo journal as a suitable replacement – at least until I get my act back together.

You might be happy to note that I’ve been ticking things off my summer bucket list, which, to me at least, indicates that I’m actually out there living, instead of just sitting around writing about it. Does that count for something?

This is the best summer of my life, by far. I hope that yours is equally wonderful.

What memories have you made these last few months?

Super Bowl Salsa!

Okay, no. It’s really not like I celebrate The Super Bowl (it is a holiday, right?), but I will admit to having a soft spot in my heart for Super Bowl food. All the greasy, cheesy goodness, all the beer, all the good grub. Yum. I won’t be watching this year, but in honour of the SB, I whipped up a surprisingly easy and delicious salsa a la Pioneer Woman.

Salsa can be mucho expensivo, especially if you’re like me and prefer Garden Fresh (which costs a fortune but is the tastiest thing on the planet). A simple alternative is to make it yourself! I was pleasantly surprised at how yummy and quick this was to make.

The recipe I tweaked is here, but I fear I probably did a disservice to the great PW by neglecting the jalapenos. My excuse? It’s freezing outside here, I didn’t want to go to the store!!! (weak). Anyways, feel free to follow her recipe more carefully, but my version turned out very tasty nonetheless.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 of a red onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • Big handful cilantro

I basically eyeballed this recipe, since I didn’t have PW’s suggestion of Rotel Tomatoes & Green Chiles either, and I only have a very small food processor. But it still turned out really nicely! Just taste after adding some of the onion & garlic, and season to your liking.

The recipe is incredibly simple. Just chop up what needs to be chopped…

…throw it into a food processor & pulse a few times…

…and serve in a pretty dish! Voila!

The consistency was wonderful: smooth and uniform. Just the way I like it.

Oh wait! Don’t forget the chips, or you’ll be sorry.

Yum yum yum.

Here’s to celebrating the Super Bowl the only way I know how! Not with sports knowledge, or cheers, or being a football fan. But with food. Wonderful, amazing food.

xoxo,