The joy of cooking as a family, a recipe for Crazy Macaroni, a true and very touching letter to a mom (cue the tissues), and a contest to celebrate all moms!
by Andréanne Charbonneau
"The last 3 generations haven't learned how to cook, neither at home nor at school. The reality is that our priorities have completely changed. We have lost touch with real cooking, real food, and it's time to get back to basics and change things."
– Jamie Oliver, British chef and TV host
It takes an average of 45 minutes to cook a healthy meal1, and people don't have a lot of time for cooking. Everything is provided to simplify life: the affordability of frozen meals, take-out in supermarkets, access to pre-packaged and processed food, and the growth of fast-food chains. Of course, it's practical when you're working and you're in a hurry, but in the long run it's not very healthy.
Researchers have found that traditional family meals can help reduce substance abuse, depression, adolescent pregnancy and learning problems. The preparation of family meals has the same positive effects, and learning how to cook helps a child become independent. Teaching your kids how to cook creates rich and meaningful memories they will appreciate as they grow up. Plus, they will develop good habits, a sense of pride and confidence in themselves. And as a bonus, when kids do the cooking, they are more likely to taste new foods.
Cooking is pure joy. My youngsters, Juliette and Henri, are always excited to go to their grandparents' house because they will get to enjoy grandma's famous Crazy Macaroni and grandpa's pancakes. The other day, Juliette invited a friend to sleep over and she prepared her first pancake batter the night before to let it rest, just like grandpa Michel does. Cooking them was another step in learning and everyone had fun!
Recipe for Laughter
Get ready to try some fabulous recipes at home! And even if you don't succeed, ask for help, cook with your family, enjoy the moments. At our house, my daughter's favourite dish is a ham and Swiss cheese pie, even with the broccoli. The secret is the crescent roll dough. It's always a winner.
Happy moments or secrets can be shared when peeling potatoes. Cooking disasters are likely to make you laugh to tears. Years ago, I made chili for 20 guests and left it outside to cool. I put a big brick on the lid to keep the animals out. But when I carried the pot inside, I dropped the brick! My mom and I are still laughing.
Traveling and Cooking
When I was 17, before leaving on a trip to Germany, I wanted to treat my hosts by cooking a recipe from my culture: a Lac-Saint-Jean tourtière. They were surprised by this huge dish for giants, but they asked for seconds! A few years later, while living in Barcelona, I helped form a group of women from all over the world to exchange recipes. I wanted to make potato candy, but it was a disaster! It was all liquid! I put too many potatoes. We had a good laugh, though. The group helped me learn how to cook a Pad Thai, Japanese pork, Mexican dishes, a chocolate sausage from Uruguay, and an Estonian dish.
More than 25 years later, I still remember the tradition of Marika, the mother of my host family in Germany. She left her office around 3:30 pm to make tea and a small Afpelfkuchen**, her grandmother's creation. She recently sent me the recipe and I was able to make it with Juliette – who loves it! I would like to introduce this tradition here in Quebec.
Despite the lack of time to cook, the popularity of cooking has been reborn. It's thanks to the phenomenon of chefs on television and in magazines, and the rising interest in local products and home gardens. In addition, caterers or semi-caterers, and home-delivered recipe boxes, are now great alternatives that combine ingredients and cooking.
Let's share this joy and the love of cooking with our families!
TIPS TO CREATE AND SHARE YOUR FAMILY RECIPE BOOK
• Hold an annual event when your favourite vegetable or fruit is in season (apples in August, or tomato sauces in the fall), or before back to school.
• Do you have friends from other cultures? Take the opportunity to discover their dishes.
• Create a recipe sharing group on Instagram or Facebook. Take photos and have fun!
• Use a simple binder, or any other notebook, to paste recipes, photos, tasting notes, wine-food pairings, etc.
• Ideally, digitally scan the document so it will be easier to read and share with your loved ones.
• Have fun, be creative, recreate appetizing ideas from cooking magazines.
• Have fun giving recipes funny names like Crazy Macaroni
**Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to have the recipes 😉
by Juliette Rivard,13 years old*
You are the smilingest and sweetest mom. I can confide in you, laugh with you, cook with you – and you don't mind if I mess up the recipe! – but I just feel good to be with you. You inspire me more and more, and you give me more confidence every day, and you help me to love and discover life a little more every day, too.
No other mom compares to you because you're always ready for everything. A rainy day doesn't discourage you, it gives you ideas! Your imagination has no limit to finding things to do. I want to be like you, with your creativity, your big heart and your optimism. You seem so passionate in everything you do, and you put in so much effort that I want to try different things. And you encourage me in all of them!
I like that you never get discouraged, that you are not afraid of others' judgment and you always stay true to your values. You are a strong woman who never gives up. You are a model for me and for all young women because you don't let others tell you what to do, and you never get discouraged by a problem. Thank you for making me a more open, positive and ambitious person every day.
*The editor adds that Juliette, 13 years old (yes!) did not have any help writing this letter.
For the love of the people is a program that embodies Pacini's commitment to giving absolute priority to humans. Every time you order a Lasagne Bolognese, $1 is donated to the local community organization supported by the restaurateur. At Pacini Shawinigan, Sonia Tremblay has chosen to help The Pink Ribbon Breast Screening Centre, a non-profit organization that provides support to people affected by breast cancer.
Mrs. Tremblay chose Le Ruban Rose (in French only) thinking of the many women and people around them who are affected by this disease. She was particularly touched when one of her long-time employees, a server at Pacini Shawinigan, was diagnosed with breast cancer. "I told myself that we needed to take concrete action to help the local women and families who are battling this disease. My team and I are grateful to our customers – they have helped us donate $5,881 to The Pink Ribbon Breast Screening Centre over the past two years. We want more than ever to continue contributing to them."
My heart tells me it's your day
I still believe my heart when it talks about you
Mom, what is it that this heart wishes for you?
Treasures? Honours? Thrones? No, my dearest!
Just joy equal to mine whenever I see you
[ Victor Hugo (1802-1885) ]
(adapted from the original French)
Author of the painting: Marlène Laberge, marlenelaberge.com (in French only)
Is it that important to eat breakfast every morning?
Nutritionist Geneviève Nadeau answers!
Breakfast has often been called the most important meal of the day. Well... yes and no! Every meal is important, but breakfast must never be skipped because it "breaks the fast" of the night before. If you think toast with jam is enough, think again! Here's what you need to give your day an energy boost.
A nutritious and energizing breakfast has two key elements: protein to satisfy your hunger and complex carbohydrates to replenish your energy reserves, especially sustained energy for your brain. These breakfast must-haves meet both needs.
Greek yogurt, a piece of cheese or a handful of nuts will give you needed protein. Then, oatmeal, whole grain toast, or a homemade muffin with grains will provide you with complex carbohydrates. Lastly, add a fruit, a small glass of milk or soy beverage, depending on your appetite. However, avoid foods such as croissants or muffins that are very greasy or sugary. They are heavy, and you will end up feeling even more tired than when you first woke up.
When you eat a good breakfast, you are less hungry, won't overeat at lunchtime and feel uncomfortable for the rest of the day. When you get up, it's important to eat foods that replenish the energy reserves your body lost during the night. The same goes for eating something at dinner to get back the energy used between lunch and dinner.
Don't panic if you're not hungry in the morning. Don't force a bowl of cereal. Better to take something with you. It can be a banana, cereal to snack, or a yogurt drink. You can always eat later that morning, even if you eat less at lunch.
Here are some other ideas for fast, portable breakfasts – and you can prepare them the day before:
- cold oatmeal with oats and yogurt
- a banana with peanut butter in a tortilla
- hard-boiled eggs with toast
- a crunchy apple, a thawed homemade muffin, a handful of nuts
- a smoothie with choice of fruit, yogurt or soft tofu, milk or soy beverage you just re-mix with a spoon
Breakfast is the most skipped meal for many people, yet it helps you by providing better energy and concentration in the morning. The key is to prepare it in advance so it's ready to eat right away or a little later in the morning.
An article from Stealth Health on the Reader's Digest website talks about habits that help us awaken in a good mood. Stretching, hugs, drinking water, listening to music, brushing your tongue and checking your morning schedule while having a coffee or tea are just small ways that can have an enormous effect on your morning mood. Other tips are holding off on making decisions, getting organized, limiting time spent in the bathroom, avoiding the rain and doing some exercise. With which of these 10 habits do you start your day?
Pacini's For the love of the people program embraces our desire to give absolute priority to human beings. Every time you order our lasagne bolognese, $1 is donated to the local community organization supported by a Pacini restaurateur. Pacini Langelier in Montreal helps Saint-François-d'Assise Elementary School (French-only website) in the Mercier-Est neighbourhood, also known as Tétreaultville. The school educates many children from disadvantaged backgrounds and works hard to help them achieve their full potential.
Over the past three years alone, Pacini Langelier has donated $19,445 to the school. At the start of the 2015 school year, the money raised was used to provide school materials for every class. In 2016, the funds went towards redecorating and improving the library. Last year, donations paid for the buses that transported the whole school to the Maison Théâtre to enjoy a play. Year after year, the entire team at Pacini Langelier loves helping all the children of Saint-François-d'Assise!
There are 10 times more centenarians in Sardinia than in North America... Why is that?
For several years now, research done in North America has demonstrated the link between diet, exercise and longevity. However, a discovery made in Sardinia might be the key to achieve a better and longer life.
Demographers Pes and Poulain, who studied the longevity of Sardinia's inhabitants, found certain areas, which they called Blue Zones, where the number of centenarians is higher. Apart from Sardinia, there are other four Blue Zones in the world: Okinawa (Japan), Nicoya (Costa Rica), Loma Linda (United States) and Icarie (Greece).
In his book The Blue Zones, explorer, journalist and producer Dan Buettner made a list of the common characteristics of the five regions: moderate and steady lifelong physical activity, calorie restriction, a flexitarian diet (mainly eating vegetables), moderate alcohol consumption, the capacity to attain a meaningful life, stress reduction, spirituality or religion, placing family at the centre of life, social engagement, and integration into the community.
But for Canadian psychologist Susan Pinker, the element that largely defines longevity is the number of human interactions a person has. In her conference TED2017 The secret to living longer may be your social life, she talks about Sardinia, the only place in the world where men and women live almost to the same age. In her conference, she states that longevity is 25% genetic and 75% lifestyle. In Sardinia, houses are very close to each other. This high population density inevitably creates constant interaction between residents and eliminates social isolation.
Susan Pinker's trip to Sardinia was a revelation in many areas. She met optimistic and positive centenarians, which seemed to have the mindset necessary for living longer. However, she also met grumpy and negative centenarians, a fact that contradicts the previously mentioned hypothesis.
Moreover, their diet contained a high amount of fat and was far from being gluten-free. Therefore, there doesn't seem to be a direct correlation between their diet and their longevity. The most distinctive feature of their lifestyle is that they are always surrounded by other people. Solitary existence is an unknown concept in this island in the Mediterranean Sea.
Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a researcher of Brigham Young University in the United States, agrees with Susan Pinker. In a series of studies involving tens of thousands of middle-aged people carried out throughout several years, she examined all aspects of their lifestyles. The results match the findings of many other studies done in the field of neuroscience: close relationships with loved ones and social integration are the most important factors that affect longevity.
Meeting people in person rather than connecting virtually is beneficial at all levels. It induces the release of wellness hormones in the veins and the brain, boosting the immune system and contributing to a better and longer life.
Say hello to the people you cross paths with, meet people in person, get closer to your loved ones, and enjoy each other's company at the table as often as possible. Have a long healthy life!
Go back to the freshness of spring and make cooking easy breezy with this delicious verdant pasta dish.
[ RECIPE ]
Created by Geneviève Nadeau, Nutritionist and Director of Food and Nutrition for Pacini
Pacini's head office supports the Fondation Maison Théâtre (in French only), an organization that finances theatre outings for children and teens from disadvantaged areas of Greater Montreal. All children should be able to go to the theatre! The theatre welcomes diversity and fosters social integration, stimulates the capacity and the love of learning, and gives courage and self-confidence. It increases the chances of graduating and considerably reduces drop-out risks.
Sardinia is an island of natural contrasts, of sea and mountains, of forests and deserts, of beaches and archaeological sites.
Show your special loved one all the desire you feel for him or her by offering this gourmet bowl brimming with passionate red berries. Breakfast in bed for lovers...
[ RECIPE ]
Created by Geneviève Nadeau, Nutritionist and Director of Food and Nutrition for Pacini
1. Romeo and Juliet was written in 1597 by William Shakespeare
2. The plot was inspired by an Italian story translated by Arthur Brooke into English in 1562 with the title The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet
3. The play is part of a series of tragic love stories dating back to ancient times
4. The story takes place in Verona, an Italian city founded in the 1st century in the Veneto region
5. The names of the rival families (Capulet and Montague) first appeared in the 14th century in Dante's Divine Comedy (Cappelletti and Montecchi)
6. The play has been adapted many times for theatre, film, opera, musical comedy, comic books and manga
7. Leonardo DiCaprio played Romeo Montague in the 1996 movie
A beautiful, refined, mythical city, with more than two thousand years of history, Verona is crossed by the Adige River. Surrounded by hills to the north and offering a gentle landscape, it is now the second centre of the Veneto region. A major international tourist destination, it is best to visit during the months of April, May, June, September and October.
For the love of people is a program driven by our commitment to giving the highest priority to human beings. Every time you order our lasagna Bolognese, $1 is donated to the local community organization supported by the restaurateur. At Pacini Calgary, we're helping Make-A-Wish Foundation®, an affiliate of Make-A-Wish® International, the largest wish-granting organization in the world. The mission of Make-A-Wish® Southern Alberta is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
1. Give money you have saved to someone who needs it and pretend you never amassed that amount.
2. Let someone tell their story without feeling the need to tell yours.
3. Let someone let off steam, even if you can’t offer a solution. Just be an ear, regardless of whether or not they’ve listened to you before.
4. Help someone who is having a hard time by confessing you’ve felt the same way – without expecting them to be as open as you.
5. Excuse yourself when you have acted selfishly to remind the other person that they deserve to be treated with respect.
6. Let someone else educate you, even if you are tempted to remain closed-minded, because you appreciate their knowledge and their willingness to share.
7. Forgive someone who has wronged you because you have compassion for them.
8. Change your plans for someone you love without asking if he or she would do the same for you.
9. Teach someone how to do something without adopting a superior attitude because they have probably taught you a lot.
10. Tell someone you believe in their potential even if they have not always given you the same support.
From the editorial team at Journallecourrier.ca
After the holidays, we all want to eat lighter and healthier, and get more vitamin C! Citrus, herbs and whole grains blend perfectly in this lemony salad, with a light taste of Italy.
[ RECIPE ]
Created by Geneviève Nadeau, Nutritionist and Director of Food and Nutrition for Pacini
Canadians are kitchen waste champions. But you can reduce the number of foods destined for the garbage. In this new column, we propose tips for reducing losses from your fridge. | By Charline-Ève Pilon
Who hasn't forgotten a slowly drying half-lemon in their fridge? Instead of throwing it out, extend its usefulness with some natural ideas.
Give the half-lemon a new life...
You can incorporate the juice into your beauty routine, because it’s a skin lightener.
• Apply directly to the face, wait fifteen minutes, then rinse: reduces the appearance of brown spots
• Mixed with water, this natural bleach can be used to lighten your hair colour and prevent dryness
• Whiten your nails: Dip your fingertips into a cup of hot water mixed with the juice from a half-lemon and then rub your nails with the peel
As a cleaning ally, lemon juice disinfects, deodorizes and cleans.
• A half-lemon rubbed directly on your faucets or the walls of a bathtub descales like magic – simply rinse afterwards
• Perfect for polishing silver, stainless steel or copper tableware, cleaning appliances, washing glass surfaces – just a few drops on a tea towel is all it takes
• Adding lemon juice to boiling laundry water will whiten your clothes – just soak them for a few hours before rinsing
IN THE KITCHEN
The cooking king, lemon adds a unique touch of flavour to meals, desserts and beverages.
• For a refreshing beverage, squeeze lemon into a glass of water
• Love lemonade? Add a hint of honey
• Squeeze the juice into an ice cube tray and freeze – use it later in a vinaigrette or pasta recipe
• Peel the zest and let it air-dry for a few hours – store it in an airtight container
• Cut a lemon into slices – once dried, they are great in a potpourri or for decorating a cake
Want more? Alexandra Végant's The Lemon Book offers tons of ideas for using this wonderfully versatile little fruit.
Considered one of the oldest cabbages, this European vegetable, which is still very popular in Italy, is full of nutrients (fibre, vitamins A, B, C and K, potassium...), and has many antioxidants that make it a food of choice for preventing certain cancers.
Kale is rich in soluble fibre. Making kale part of your diet can also help lower bad cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health. Did you know that kale is high in calcium? That makes it a smart choice for bone health.
If you enjoy it uncooked, kale simply needs a little tenderness: gently massage it with olive oil for a superb taste experience. Dried kale leaves are nutritious and tasty chips. An original afternoon snack, kale chips are even more delicious when sprinkled with sea salt and maple sugar.
Kale is simply delizioso!
Geneviève Nadeau, Nutritionist and Director of Food and Nutrition for Pacini