February is my birthday month so it’s also one of my favourite times of year and extra ripe for all sorts of celebration. Here’s what’s on my mind and inspiring my occasionizing these days… 

  1. The Well Woman’s tree nut cheeses. The Well Woman is a wonderful source of inspiration for plant-based eating, graceful living, and well-being; founded by the passionate and radiant Tonya Papanikolov. I’ve been following Tonya’s adventures since last summer, and just tried some of her latest creations- tree nut cheeses. Now I am French so quite particular about my cheese, and until now nothing has quite come close to replacing dairy, despite my honest attempts at a mostly plant-based diet. Cue Tonya’s sweet smoked cheddar and herbed chèvre, both made from fermented nuts and magical seasonings. I am so excited about how good these were, and that I might actually be able to reduce my dairy intake without compromising on my beloved cheese sandwiches. Tonya has told me that she has more flavours in the works, including mushroom truffle, spirulina blue, and beetroot. Can’t wait to try them all, and you can too as Tonya is now taking made-to-order requests via her Instagram or website.
  2. The Young Pope. Loving this new HBO series starring Jude Law as a dark, manic, fictional American pope. The costumes and set are gorgeous, the atmosphere delightfully irreverent, and the humour oh-so-dry. Honestly a perfect winter show in my opinion, and a great companion to this other Catholic-themed series on Netflix, which is just as aesthetically-pleasing but a lot lighter.
  3. Pasta in red wine.  I love this recipe for cold February nights, especially on Valentine’s day. Pasta, wine, and a rich burgundy palette in your plate make for a romantic meal that’s just as sexy as the many prix-fixe menus offered across town on the 14th, in my opinion.
  4. Spring cleaning. I always (very optimistically) think of February as the beginning of spring. I know it’s usually far from true weather-wise, but I definitely always sense a readiness for more movement, action, and coming out of hibernation at this time.  For me, this translates into taking stock of my belongings, what’s been serving me well during months spent nesting at home, and what I can maybe let go of. I also inevitably end up cleaning out my pantry at this time, taking the opportunity to plan the last couple months’ worth of heavy meal prepping before transitioning to more picnic-style eating in warmer months.
  5. Chocolate cake. Cake has naturally been at the front of my mind since the 1st. For Toronto locals, the Best-Ever Chocolate Fudge Cake at Bampot on Harbord is no joke. For everyone else, this recipe is amazing and would make a great companion to the red wine pasta now that I think of it!

That’s all for now! Happy February xx

Photo credits- Cheese pictures: 1st- Tonya Papanikolov/The Well Woman, 2nd-  Kelly Brown Photography ; The Young Pope: The Siver Times.