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Mardi Michels  🇫🇷🍴Kids' French + cooking teacher, writer (Toronto) 📚 My book: In the French kitchen with kids (buy it! ⬇️) 🏡 for rent in SW France: @houseinnerac

@allisondaycooks ’s latest book #ModernLunch is all about reinventing the midday meal and includes a lot of tips for planing your weekday lunches ahead of time to avoid a #saddesklunch situation. It’s full of clever recipes with fresh flavours that will make you want to step away from your screen and enjoy eating lunch again, rather than view it as just something to check off the day’s “to do” list.
Today being a holiday it seemed like a good time to reset those midday meal routines and actually cook something nourishing and comforting - for me, it’s such a luxury to have the time to do that during what is normally a workday. A frittata seemed like a good choice for a rainy, dreary day... In the spirit of the economy, I used what I had in the fridge: one large sweet potato, a couple of handfuls of spinach left over from my @mamaearthorganics delivery and some goat cheddar which had been languishing in the back of my cheese been for too long. Allison calls for the frittata to be cooked in a pie dish lined with parchment paper, but I pulled out my trusty @lecreusetcanada toughened non-stick frying pan that frittatas literally slide right out of, onto a plate for eating right away, or into a container for a packed lunch later. Voilà, the perfect lunch dish. Spoiler: I’ve made this a few times before and it’s also an excellent breakfast dish, even better as leftovers!
I’m super excited that Allison will be visiting the STEM lab in May to cook with my Petits Chefs. Stay tuned for a full book review and a report on what we make next month!

This week the Petits Chefs baked up a recipe I thought would be a nice one to introduce them to as we approach the Easter long weekend… Who doesn’t love savoury muffins? Especially ones stuffed with zucchini, prosciutto and goat cheese? Perfect for an Easter brunch, right? This particular version comes from @foodnouveau ’s latest book, #FrenchAppetizers, a book I’ll give a full review to next week.

The boys hadn’t heard of l’heure de l’apéro (though, curiously, some of them had heard of hors d’oeuvres and a few were familiar with “pre-dinner drinks”), so we had a whole language lesson in French and English about the idea of appetizers/hors d’oeuvres/ apéritif (“wait, adults drink wine before AND during a meal??”), then we moved into the whole starter vs entrée discussion (“But entrée means “entry” why do we use it to talk about our main dish?” Uh huh. Out of the mouths of babes, as they say…). Never a dull moment in cooking club! The boys decided that many of the recipes could be classified as “After School Snacks” and were thrilled that we were making muffins with some of their favourite ingredients (goat cheese and prosciutto). “It’s the perfect after-school snack!” declared more than one of them!

Check out their handiwork in my post today (April 18, 2019) - it’s also linked in the highlights in my profile!

Speechless. Was just there last month, and walked by a few times. Thought to myself “It’s been years but I’ll climb the towers next time”. 😢 It’s good to hear the towers have been saved but still... so much loss.

The #recipe for this tasty, easy coconut chocolate chunk #granola is up on the blog today (April 15, 2019).
Thanks @lecreusetcanada for the gorgeous #minimalistdinnerware Cereal Bowls in #meringue - they make any food look great!
Full recipe linked in highlights in my profile!

Had a lovely time @lecreusetcanada @cfsherway store yesterday whipping up a batch of the Creamy Vegetable Soup from #inthefrenchkitchenwithkids !
It’s a great soup for kids to make because it doesn’t matter how well the vegetables are chopped as long as they are even-sized pieces. It’s going to be puréed anyway so even kids who don’t have a lot of knife skills can manage to make this.
It’s also a great soup to serve to kids because it contains a bunch of different vevegetables they might not otherwise eat: cauliflower, turnips, butternut squash and carrots, along with onions and garlic. Such a great way to get kids to try new vegetables!
Yesterday I served the soup with a selection of different toppings: Greek yoghurt, chives, bacon, and garlicky croutons. It’s a fun way to make dinner interactive and let people choose the toppings they like!
I will be back in store on May 11, baking up some treats for Mother’s Day! Keep an eye on my stories for more details!

My favourite cookbook? Recently @appetite_randomhouse asked me this question and I spent a long time thinking about this, finally choosing three books that have influenced me as a cook/ baker/ writer.
@jamieoliver’s #FoodRevolution cookbook was the book which inspired me to start teaching my students to cook (I have probably cooked my way through it with my students at least 3 times!).
@ruhlman’s #Charcuterie was the book which made me feel like I could do anything as I worked my way through it in 2011 for #Charcutepalooza.
@doriegreenspan’s #AroundmyFrenchTable taught me how accessible French food (yes, even pastry!) is to everyone and was a huge inspiration for #IntheFrenchkitchenwithkids. I have made every single recipe in this book!
What are your favorite cookbooks? Which cookbooks have had the biggest influence in your life? I’d love to know!

Ps: that is taken in the STEM lab where I teach the boys to cook!

It’s #nationalsiblingday so I couldn’t resist posting these. I note that I was in charge of the chip packet even back then 😂

Proving that kids can do anything, my Petits Chefs made mini versions of the Tarte aux Fraises from #inthefrenchkitchenwithkids yesterday: pastry, pastry cream, strawberries artfully cut, then tarts assembled, in an hour! Not pictured: when Mlle gave the boys large spoons full of the crème pâtissière - testing for quality control, of course! 😂😍😂
#KidsInTheKitchen #KidsCanCook #CookingWithKids #KidsFrenchCookbook #FrenchFood #FrenchFoodForKids #FrenchCookbook

Pro-tip: when your cheesecake rises and falls and settles in an odd shape or when it cracks, top liberally with berries. No one will know! Happy Monday!

I tried really hard not to have any expectations going into @runcrs #springrunoff today but I’m too competitive with myself not to.
🏃🏻‍♀️ 🏃🏻‍♀️ 🏃🏻‍♀️
Last year this was the first proper race I ever ran and the goal I said out loud to everybody was to “just finish“. In my head I really wanted to finish in under an hour and I achieved that in 55:10.
I was pretty happy with that at the time and ran a few more races in the spring, fall and winter (my training has taken me to France this time where I ran in Paris, Lyon and Nerac during March break! Who would’ve thought I would be “that“ person?) and knew that my pace was much, much faster than that now. Still, you never know what’s going to happen on race day and I really tried very hard to not expect anything. In my head I really wanted to go under 50 minutes, out loud I told people 52 minutes would be great.
I’m still working on learning how to pace myself and not go out too fast at the beginning, but I managed to keep the pace under 6 mins/km for most of the race, the exception being on the dreaded Centre Road Hill (which I find much, much worse than the Spring Road Hill at the end!)
🏅 🏅 🏅
My time this year? 49:34🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 I’m thrilled! Still not the speediest time, for sure, but I need to be realistic and it’s a pretty excellent amount of time to shave off of last year’s time!
Huge thanks to @runningroomhighpark for the fabulous clinic this winter - great group of like-minded runners, especially to @rabbitbons for being my running buddy on the long Sunday runs… I am returning for a second round this spring! (Also, @brooksrunning #runhappy matching purple gear for the win!)

Loved the creativity shown by the kids making ratatouille tian in my parent-child #inthefrenchkitchenwithkids cooking class at @slmkitchen @stlawrencemarket last night!

I’ve done a few different iterations of this recipe over the past couple of years with lots of my kids’ classes and it’s always popular. Kids love to get hands-on and creative with food, and it’s also a way to make them more interested in trying something they might not otherwise…

All of my parent-child classes are sold out for the spring, but email me (you can email me directly from my profile) you would like to be informed about classes in the fall.


Happy 18th birthday to our talkative, opinionated beautiful Cleo 😻 Until we adopted her from @toronto_humane_society in 2001, I had never owned a cat. I wasn’t even sure that I was a cat person, having grown up with a dog. But Neil was very much a cat person and hadn’t had one for many, many years. We adopted Cleo to celebrate my work visa being renewed for the first time kind of as a statement that yes, I was in Canada to stay. Am I a cat person now? Absolutely! I can’t even imagine our life without Cleo in it. Cleo will not be celebrating with #AllTheTreats today, because she is on a special diet, being a “senior“ feline. But she will probably get one or two… 😻 Thankfully, we will never forget where treats are kept because she likes to sit in front of the food cupboard just to remind us. 😹