Here Comes the Bride Blog

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“Spreading love, one recipe at a time!”

The back-story that inspired the menu that inspired the recipes! Foodie and Love stories combining love, romance, and adventure (remember this is all fiction my friends)! Let me take my paintbrush, paint the scene and the mood to take you there…

Inspired Quote to love by:   “Never marry the one you can live with, marry the one you can’t live without.” ~ Unknown

Foodie Dateline: Food = The Way To A Man’s Heart

Where: Everywhere

When: Every-time

Mood: Excited with my new life

Emotion: Joy

The Inspiration Behind the Menu

In deciding upon this menu and my role as ‘Gourmet Coach’ for you, I considered two things – where is ‘the’ most romantic place in the whole entire world? And I also wanted to include the Sole Bonne Femme main course because the dish translates to ‘Good Wife’ in English.  So…here it is:  Oh, la, la! Voila a sultry Classic Parisian Bistro Menu to keep the home fires burning once you’ve tied the knot! I once lived in the city of love, and experienced ‘many a bistro,’ falling in love with the cuisine and the romance of the city (so I know how deliciously effective it is for the heart). Start with “Something Old” Roasted Veggie & Gruyere Cheese Tart, follow along with“Something New” Sole Bonne Femme in Cream Sauce (Bonne Femme translates to Good Wife ‘the’ perfect dish for your new spouse). Next up – “Something Borrowed” Potato Gratin Dauphinois, followed by “Something Blue” Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille. Last but not least,“Signed, Sealed, Delivered” Sumptuous Crêpes Suzette these crepes taste like love without the heartache!

Three short foodie stories that tell the tale of the menu – collect one, collect ‘em all (kidding)!

Sole Bonne Femme, George Brown College Toronto, Culinary Arts 2005(ish)

Being honest, I learnt how to make the Sole Bonne Femme dish at College in Toronto, that was long, long after living in Paris. No matter how romantic it sounds that the recipe hails from Paris – the truth is the truth – the recipe hails from down the street in Toronto! I love the delicious, silky flavour of the fish, the cream sauce and especially the name – Good Wife! I had to include it with this menu, it was a no-brainer. I know you’ll love it as much as I do (and fish really is brain food – good for you, good for your new husband)! My demo video goes through each and every step for you to prepare this dish right in your own kitchen. Enjoy the experience and love your food!

Roasted Ratatouille, Paris, France, 1986

Ratatouille, this tasty often unappreciated vegetable stew hails from Provence, served either hot or cold, as a main course or side dish, it’s seriously good for you! The first time that I tasted this dish was back in 1986, when I worked as an au pair (nanny) in Paris, taking care of a French film actress’s daughter. One of my jobs was to cook with the Moroccan maid, Zhora. She was an amazing teacher, so it didn’t feel like work at all and it opened my eyes to cuisines of the world. This dish involved a lot of chopping…endless chopping (enough to make your eyes water, mine did), endless stirring but the end result was a delicious ‘n nutritious dish! I loved every single bite of it. When I make this dish today it always transports me back to Paris. I hope that your taste buds enjoy your trip to Paris as much as mine do!

Crepes Suzette, Loire Valley, France 2005

The first time I ever tasted Crêpes Suzette was well, OK, I’ll admit it, in France. I was sitting in a quaint little restaurant tucked away in the rolling hills of the Loire Valley, just south of Paris. It was a true foodie highlight pour moi to watch a professional waiter prep and serve up this sumptuous dessert. With the flame lit, the scent of orange wafted through the restaurant as the show began. Our waiter folded then swirled the crepes with such flair – ahhh the flair of the French – I loved to watch him doing what he loved to do! The taste of this most famous crepe dessert will always impress and is truly easy to make. Make this fabulous recipe for him – and enjoy! And no, you don’t need to bring a French waiter home from France…no matter how much you might like to! Enjoy ‘your’ show…

Wish you were here!


Jackie's 'signature'_Briar Rose


Where: Toronto

When: Early Spring 1996

Mood:  Ecstatic

Emotion: Happy, happy, happy (did I say happy)!

The Wedding Warm-up Show. Lights, Camera, Action.

I was to marry Humphry Bogart in May. In the lead-up to the wedding – as he was so well-known in front of the camera – I was invited to perform in a fashion show on stage with him as a wedding dress model (bride stunt double). Yep, true story (fiction). My dress was hand-picked from the latest and greatest of wedding accessories at an exclusive boutique – oh la la. I felt like a princess for a day as I sat in the ‘green room’ and had my hair and make-up professionally done and coiffed for the camera. Wow, even under the big bright Hollywood lights (that show every little line), I had to admit that I looked amazing and felt like a million bucks (was this really me, I had to pinch myself to make sure)! What wonders make-up will do! Who wouldn’t want to have this done every single day I wondered? I would. By this point, however, I was starting to get the ‘new bride’ jitters – you know the kind where your stomach feels like it has no – not just butterflies – but a herd of wild stallions deep inside. OK, deep-breath and drum-roll – dress time. Thank goodness I had a ‘dresser’ – I don’t know that I could have zipped my own zipper – my hands were trembling uncontrollably (I was so, so nervous, gulp)!

Show Time

OK – hair, make-up, dress – done, done and done, ready to go – lights, camera, action. The other wedding dress models and I strutted out our stuff on stage – imagine deer in headlights (that’s how we all felt)! The audience seemed to love our stuff – if applause was any indication. Applause is nice, yes, agreed, but I just really wanted to get off stage and to be ‘me’ (I’m more of a behind-the-scenes kind of bride)! Nope – not so fast, not yet – my ‘dressers’ decided to do the ‘big reveal’ – with my dress and moi as their model. What? I had no idea, I wasn’t prepared for this?!?! As an aside, my dress was two dresses in one – cool. As I stood there up on stage, knees shaking, they (my ‘dressers’) deftly removed my tulle skirt to reveal my full-length, form-fitting (did I say form-fitting, I could hardly breathe) golden-knit dress. The audience ‘ate it right up,’ I almost felt like a stripper on daytime TV – oh la la. It’s getting hot in here – the heat from the spotlights combined with my stage-fright made the stage feel like I was in the tropics somewhere. You can imagine how I felt in front of a live audience and camera viewers. Oh the heat.

The Vote

If that wasn’t quite enough heat, the host spontaneously decided that it would be fun to do an impromptu poll to see who the audience thought was to be Humphry Bogart’s bride. OMG, how embarrassing, how awkward – I just felt like I wanted to be swallowed up by the stage, I just wanted to disappear into my dress. I couldn’t move though, I was part of the show. I stood there in my form-fitting dress feeling like I was wearing a straightjacket (it was getting tighter and tighter by the minute). The countdown started – 5-4-3-2-1 – with the show of hands clapping who is going to marry Humphry Bogart? I stopped breathing – Humphry Bogart where are you? He stood by on the stage smiling as the host took her poll and I was in the eye of the storm. Time stood still, the poll seemed to take forever. At last it was over. It felt to me as though the strongest applause was for another one of the other bride stunt doubles – I just knew as I felt it in my bones. OMG, awkward – grace under fire in front of the camera. Get me off of this stage please – I just want off of the stage and out of my dress – nope. I had to stay under the spotlights until the show was over. They (after what seemed like forever) announced that I was Humphry Bogart’s bride-to-be – whew – I was done for the show. I bowed out gracefully or should I say swallowed up by the stage. Humphry told me later that I was definitely the winner of the applause – that’s why I loved him the way I did – and oh yeah, married him. He always made me feel like ‘his’ bride stunt double!

Love Dateline: Wedding Bells

Where: Xlendi Bay, Gozo, Malta,

When: May 1996

Mood:  Ecstatic

Emotion: Pure joy & bliss

The Real Wedding (no, not a TV Wedding).

Humphry Bogart and I tied the knot far, far away from home (Canada). Malta was to be our wedding destination – islands in the Mediterranean – doesn’t get much more romantic than that does it? I don’t think so! Do you? A destination wedding also meant that those people closest to us would come – they did. We travelled, by plane, by boat, by mule to get to our villa (OK, we didn’t have mules, but we did have jeeps). We were married at sunset by Humphry Bogart’s father (a minister) overlooking the shimmering Mediterranean Sea. You could smell and taste the sweet salty air, the temperature was perfect, love was in the air. The backdrop to our vows was beautiful bright yellow sandstone, warm to the touch, carved out by Mother Nature herself. One of the most unique of places in the world to say ‘I do’. We were surrounded by friends and family – just us and a small intimate group. It was beautiful – one of the best days of my life – no cameras, no spotlights, no form-fitting knit dresses – just ‘I do’s.’

Widow Soup?

The party followed us to a traditional Maltese restaurant – perfect. I just wanted a very simple wedding – nothing traditional – just simple. I didn’t want a wedding cake, no dry ice, no water fountains, no speeches – just a good ole-fashioned party to celebrate! Dinner was served, I could barely eat, butterflies on my menu. But that was OK, the bar was wide open and wine helped to sooth my new bride jitters! The food, very good – from what people told me (not that I really tasted it). The most unique dish on the menu was the ‘widow’s soup’ – hmmm – a traditional soup served at weddings – interesting? Was this a Maltese custom, some kind of joke? I did manage to swallow down a little of the soup down however (I needed sustenance) – although as I swallowed, I wondered why on earth it was on the menu? OK great, this was going well – all according to plan. Dessert served up next – cake – perfect. Or so I thought until they wheeled in a 3-tier triple decker white wedding cake with lights and a fountain (all true), all the bells and whistles. What?!?! I couldn’t believe it – not exactly in the script of my mind – but what can you do? So much for my non-traditional white wedding, I had to graciously go with this. And unbeknownst to me, the tradition in Malta also has it that the bride serves slices of the cake to the men and the groom to the women – one little tiny slice at a time. OK – done – it did cut into party-time though (pun not intended).

Now…Let’s Get This Party Started!!

Now the party can start. Nope. Speeches next up – also not in the script. Little did I know that the speeches would take a life unto their own? Here are a few lessons for you for future reference – plan the speeches, keep ‘em short, keep ’em organized and whatever you do, don’t close the bar during your speeches!! Learn from my mistakes. Oh well, the party eventually started once the dance floor was cleared and bar re-opened! Humphry Bogart and I danced our first dance. As the music played ‘our song’ we danced and he asked me “Is this our song?” Oops, this brings me to Lesson # 3. Always consult with your finance about your ‘song’ before your first dance. I just assumed that he knew, oh well, never mind. At the end of the day, it was a beautiful evening, a great celebration of marriage and true love with friends and family. I loved being a real bride for a day and not a bride stunt double!

Words of wisdom…

All expenditures, whether from the heart or the wallet, in the past or present, big or small, can be viewed as either “depleting” or “enriching.” “Enriching” worked for me at this very moment in time! I felt like the richest person in the world entire world! Oh what a day and a night, I was married.  Enjoy being a ‘Princess’ for the day and for the rest of your life. You so deserve the happiness that it brings.


Jackie's 'signature'_Briar Rose

PS Love your food, what comes from the heart touches the heart! Craving isn’t a ‘Bad Word,’ food IS sexy!

PSS I came up with this handy wallet-sized ‘Manly Ranking Scale’ – pull it out when you need it! It’s similar to the Richter Magnitude Scale that measures earthquakes (the idea came to me as I survived a major earthquake in Vegas years ago). I’ll grade each man of my life at the time of my Love Dateline story! Feel free to grade the man of your life, If he’s a +10 (and I hope he is), I’d say go for it!:


10-Manly rating card-2

Humphrey Bogart and I tied the knot, a keeper for sure!

Check out the complete “Here Comes the Bride” menu