Our first visit to Lisbon was a delight for me and my family.
This charming city is one of the oldest cities in the world, with very special details like the yellow tram and elevators, the old Alfama district, delicious food everywhere you go, with the most beautiful ancient castles and monasteries that make this place a total magic experience.

After a few weeks back, Nico is still asking when are we coming back to the city of seven hills (that I swear we walked them all with two strollers), when are we eating the delish and fresh bread (and boy, did I eat) and when are we taking the old trams all over again (seriously, the absolute cutest rides despite Oli's reaction in the pictures)

Thanks to Air Transat this city has become one of our favorite destinations in Europe.

Le mot magique in this home?


... and the possibilities are endless when it comes to cooking them: steak, camarones, vegetarian, al pastor, fish, and so much more!
This time around we tried to cook them differently, Baja-style deep fried cauliflower and mango pepper carnitas, noms right?

(I confess having my mama here for a while, I've discovered my inner Martha Stewart cooking skills again) so, prepare your appetite and scroll all the way down for the recipe.

Buen Provecho!
Served with a spicy mayo, fresh cilantro, and red cabbage 
This is T a c o  H e a v e n.

Mama, let's taco-bout this cute party, ok? 

Baja-Style Cauliflower Tacos

- 1/2  head of cauliflower 
- 2 cups of flour 
- 1 beer 
- 1 tsp of Adobo
- 1 tsp of cumin
- 2 tsp of baking powder
- salt, pepper 

- Spicy mayo (mayo, a bit of water and sriracha mix) 
- red cabbage 
- cilantro
- radish 
- red onions 
- mexican corn tortillas

1. Wash, cut and boil cauliflower 2 minutes 
2. Mix in a large bowl the flour, adobo, cumin, baking powder, salt and beer, whisk until the batter is not clumpy.
3. Pour the cauliflower pieces in the batter and soak well
4. Deep fry cauliflower until golden brown

Last week, I had the chance to spend a few hours with the talented chef Chuck Hughes, a Canadian chef and Montrealer I've admired for a while, along with the TV personality, Rick Campanelli.

The LG team was kind enough to organize a fun afternoon hosted by two super dads to show mamas like me, the best dad hacks into the kitchen, smart move right?

Besides all the yummy recipes we cooked and tried together, I was stoked to finally see the new LG InstaView Door-in-Door
Fridge and LG QuadWash™ Dishwasher you'll LOVE as much as I did. But, we'll get into all these fun details a bit later.
Spanish Bruschetta, pan con tomates in the making

T H E  C O O K I N G  E X P E R I E N C E
It's no secret that most parents are guilty of hiding veggies when it comes to kids, right? (guilty over here!). Chef Chuck and Rick also struggled on a daily basis how to hack the simplest plates to the most complicated ones and make them "kids friendly". My favorite part of spending a few hours with Chef Chuck was to realize that it comes to cooking, he's all into team play with his 4-year-old, teaching him how the kitchen can be fun too.

I gotta admit, the past 6 months, when it comes to cooking in the kitchen, I've been a bit meh, between my long hours' work and all the travel, I think I lost my passion for it. So, when I heard I was finally meeting Chef Chuck I knew this was a sign to get my mojo back. 

D A D D Y  H A C K S  I N  T H E   K I T C H E N

1. Don't cook for your kids, cook real food and teach them how to eat it
Chef Chuck knows our kids will ask for chips, chocolate, and cheese only (well, don't we all?). Broccoli? Peppers? Tomatoes? Maybe not that much. He cooked three simple but really healthy plates we can share with all the family and kids would love it too.

2. Get them excited about participating with you
One thing I noticed about my little ones, is they want to do everything by themselves when they're playing, and I adored how Chef Chuck asks his son to participate with him in the kitchen that I really need to start doing ASAP. Examples? Grate the cheese, cut tomatoes (YES!, with a kid's safe knife), set up a cute shape of parchment paper, crush fruits, and even seasoning the food before start cooking.

3. Grocery shopping fun? take them with you!
By selecting fresh ingredients together, show your little ones how fun can meal prepping and cooking can be. I started this with my little Olivia and it has been quite a success so far!

W H A T  W E  C O O K E D (W e l l,  W h a t  C h e f  C h u c k  C o o k e d)


A total of 30 minutes is all Chef Chuck needed to make 3 plates for us, all so fresh and unbelievably delicious. We started with a Spanish bruschetta "pan con tomate" that takes just 10 minutes from start to finish, and tasted so divine! Want to love it yourself as well? try this easy recipe with your little ones! (see below)
A fresh pickerel was the main star and cooked in the simplest way, wrapped in parchment paper in the oven. Served with fresh veggies, spices and topped with a hollandaise sauce if you want to impress all the family, obviously.
Guess who did this dessert as soon as it came back home? YES! This strawberry fluff was so easy to do (just three ingredients) and in only 5 minutes, even the pickiest little ones, will love it!

T H E  T E C H  E X P E R I E N C E

Team Dishwasher!

I never met a dishwasher I didn't like and if you ask me what's the one appliance you cannot live without, I'd say a dishwasher. The brand new LG QuadWash
dishwasher sold me in so many things, starting with it's minimalistic and sleek design (design fan over here!), its folding tines and adjustable racks I've been dreaming about for a while, only to have more space when you always need it. Also, the new TrueSteam technology helps reduce the hassle of pre-washing all the dishes with the help of a powerful steam from boiling water, can you believe this?

Why you need one?
The LG Quadwash
steam is an extremely powerful performance yet very gentle, leaving dishes sparkling clean. This model has four arms instead of the usual two, for all the extra cleaning power you need on a daily basis.

Team Fridge!
If you saw my Instagram stories last week during the event, you experienced my wowed moment of knocking twice and revealing a beautiful transparent window of the new LG InstaView
Door-in-Door fridge, one of the most important features and an invention of LG.

Why you need one?

Looking for a new fridge? this might be THE one. The door-in-door® helps you to access all your favorite drinks by just opening it (and avoiding opening and closing the entire fridge, as we did in the past), helping save tons on energy and keeping our grocery fresher for a longer time. 
SO good!
Can't wait to show Nico how to cook this together!

Yes, Chef Chuck, you are so right: this line is sexy and sleek. 
Endless thanks to LG for sponsoring this post and for hosting us in Toronto.
All the opinions expressed here are entirely mine. 

After surviving the longest winter that I can remember, I'm ready to spend our summer doing everything BBQ, frozen and fresh in our kitchen, wot wot!

My goal?
Cook and entertain a bit more (maybe the extra Vitamin D already set the mood for me), because I am all over the moon to start my first official HeyMaca recipe series with this ultra yummy barbecue menu.

The special and not-so-secret-anymore star?
My Cilantro sauce you'll adore (and I'm not even kidding). You can use this sauce with meats and as well as a salad dressing, SO delish!

Pink cocktails, fresh asparagus, and salad for y'all!

Steak Cilantro Sauce

  • 1/2 cup White Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • a bunch of Fresh Cilantro
  • 3/4 cup Olive Oil
  • Hot sauce
  • garlic cloves
  • a drizzle of lime (serving)
Cooking Directions
  1. Combine vinegar, salt, olive oil, hot sauce in a medium bowl and mix well. 
  2. Add fresh cilantro and garlic cloves in a mixer with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Enjoy!

Are you planning a summer menu soon? 
Would love to know more!

You know those days when you need a break from everything (including changing diapers, cooking and running after two kiddos) well, I had one of those days recently. I packed my small (I swear, it was small) carry-on, kissed my hubby with a sweet goodnight and took a girls-staycation day in the brand new and ultra stylish Boxotel.

Marie-Jeanne Rivard, the mastermind that designed and built our house launched her first hotel project in Montreal, and I was desperate to see it and try it, let me tell you, it didn't disappoint.

I truly felt home.

Every single corner is so well planned, with a mix of industrial-cozy and posh vibes me and my homies loved.

T H E  A M E N I T I E S
Boxotel is a new eco-friendly, super high-tech and modern hotel that comes with all the perks you are looking for: smart lights, curtains and room temperature (as soon as I came into my room, curtains automatically opened - excuse moi?). You can count there are high-speed internet, TV and even a yoga mat to enjoy their classes once a week in the lobby area. Local is the number one priority for them (and I heart this), you'll see they encourage local artists and companies integrating to their boutique-hotel. Keeping a green concept, Boxotel offers a weekly complimentary housekeeping service and if you are really in need of a daily one, they can make it happen as well.

Finally, if you want to enjoy a stunning skyline view of the city, head all the way to the terrace and make sure to bring your bathing suit. They have a dry sauna, turkish bath and a jacuzzi, aka heaven.
Excuse me, lady, are you pregnant with twins? This is the question my friend Joanna got last week and we are still laughing about it.

T H E  R O O M S
We had the loft king luxe for ourselves and it was a surprise to find so many things in a space of 390sft. A fully equipped modern kitchen, washer and dryer, dishwasher (this is not a drill), fridge and all the basics you'll need to entertain during your stay. I swooned over the Boxotel branded tableware, made by Benoit Daigle. Bonus points: You'll have a bathtub AND a shower in the room, hello bubbly nights with the best local products along!

Included with your stay, there's a free breakfast menu (delivered to your room) served by Boxotel's Cafe Nomad. The cute cafe serves fresh yogurt and smoothies, yogurt with granola, fresh scones and for the sweet tastes, a selection of muffins are also available.

Nota bene: Don't get me started on the bed conversation. So comfy I might bring it back home with me, ok MJ?

I did a tiny mix of salty-sweet brekkie.
A fresh beet-strawberry smoothie, granola & yogurt and a cheddar bacon scone.

Ps. the appetite was all mine except my leg bruises, brought to you by magical flying legos all over my house.

Phew, motherhood!

Thank you, Boxotel for the sweet memories and for sharing with us your lovely hotel. 
All opinions, and sweet dreams are entirely mine. 

It's no secret that travel transforms you. Meeting new people, new cultures, new food, traveling connects you on a whole different way changing the way you see the world. I can only think how we leave marks behind, and to me, this is one of the biggest goals I have this year. Travel as far as we can with my little ones, as widely as possible, and show them how other people live, outside their little world in Montreal.

I was lucky enough to share a full week with the team of Visit Florida, and explore three hidden gems I didn't have the chance to see before, Sarasota, Punta Gorda and Tampa. I've been to Florida so many times before, but, only to popular cities like Miami or Orlando, as I bet you have too.

Welcome to Central Florida heaven!
I can't wait to show you where to eat, sleep and see over here.

Thank you again, Visit Florida, for this dreamy getaway I'll never forget. 

The three destinations we discovered were full of pure yumminess and a delightful experience. From French, Cuban, Asian, Spanish and a mix of cuisines, we had an authentic dining experience in Florida. Here's a list of my favorite places you NEED to try if you happen to be here.

- The Muse at The Ringling: We had one of the BEST healthy lunches I've tried in years here. Ps. Can I go back for brunch?
- Breakfast at C'est La Vie: Fresh omelettes, croissants, and cappuccinos, this little place was charming and with a real french touch I adore, as you all know.
- Dinner at Shore Diner: A stunning menu with the prettiest and elegant design, they reimagined a healthy and crave-able dishes I'll never forget. Cob salad to a next level, guys.

P U N T A  G O R D A
- Farlow's on the water: This place was my FAVE of the entire trip. Their menu is a mix of classic American and Caribbean with a southern twist. Seafood lovers? Steak lovers? this will be your dream. Do not leave without trying their pork belly. God, that pork belly.
- Peace River Seafood: fresh, locally caught seafood diner, located in the heart of this small town. Their specialty? blue crabs - I only wished I could eat them.

- Hall on Franklin: The first food hall in Tampa (hearts to this place), features seven diverse culinary experts, all in one space. It was so much fun to have a cuban sandwich, with oysters, a pad thai and popcorn all in the same table. You'll adore the experience.
- Drinks at Ciro's Speakeasy: OMG. BEST. DRINKS. EVER. point.
- Breakie at Oxford Exchange: I'm still crying I won't have these egg benedicts closer to home. Seriously, the creamiest hollandaise I've had paired with the cutest coffee bar, bookstore, and home decor shop. This historic building is a dream.
- Tapas at Bulla Gastrobar: My second favorite of the trip, Bulla. They have several locations in Florida, serving REAL spanish tapas that made me think so much of our days in Barcelona. Croquettes and Spanish tortilla, si por favor.
- Sprinkles cupcakes at Hyde Park: I couldn't believe they had one here.

- The Ringling Museum: The state art museum of Florida, is home to a wonderful and dreamy cultural collection in the country. A 66 acre estate of John and Mable Ringling, including a circus museum your kids will LOVE (the biggest one in the US), and the prettiest Bayfront gardens and buildings. We toured their home and saw over 10,000 pieces of contemporary prunts in here. You won't believe you are in Florida, trust me.
- Selby Gardens: Hosting the newest Warlhol's exhibit with a perfect greenhouse and some of his prints in a private room. They have a small kids area with the biggest trees you'll find in the state.
- Siesta Key Beach: When you land to the whitest sand you've seen, you know this beach is something you wanted to see for a long time. Their sand is made up of mineral quartz and it feels so soft and fine. Stay here and enjoy a pink sunset with your little ones.

P U N T A   G O R D A
- Riding the waves: Ride your very own pontoon boat? this gotta be a dream! me and my friend Soheila did the funnest drive up the bay, seeing dolphins (screams), so close you can touch them if you are in luck! Ps. this activity is kids friendly, yes!
- Sunset Cruise with King Fisher Fleet: The prettiest sunset you'll see in Florida. Can't miss this.
-Fisherman's Village: A shopping, dining, full marina and villa vacation with plenty to do for the whole family. Loved the caribbean vibes and bold colors!

- Take a pirate water taxi: I swear this is a thing here! We took a bright yellow water taxi in Tampa's downtown area and explore the city from the water.
- Go back in time at Tampa Theatre: and when I mean back in time, it's a 1926 era. This movie palace was Tampa's first and today is an institution in the city. They have a repertoire of art-house films and classic nowadays.
- Shopping heaven at Hyde Park Village: Such a trendy corner of the city with pretty murals (Did you hear, murals?), hip coffee spots, and an open-air shopping district. Stay warm with some paletas and sweet with a Sprinkle cupcake.

- The Westin Sarasota
1175 N Gulstream Ave.

Marriot Waterside & Marina Hotel
700 S. Florida Ave.

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