Thursday, 25 April 2019

Simple Brunch with Boursin Apple & Maple


I love brunch. I love the simplicity of it, the ambiguous timing and the general laid-back energy that comes along with it. I also love spending time with friends, and am happy to host them for a brunch in our tiny Toronto condo. The only thing I don't love? Cooking. That's why you'll find Boursin on the menu for all of my hosted get-togethers.

I absolutely love Boursin cheese - as readers of my blog will recognize from my multiple posts gushing about it. Boursin cheese is produced locally and made out of 100% Canadian Milk. Let's just call it as it is - Boursin is always a hit at every event. Always. There's just something about the delicious taste, and the fact that the texture is so smooth and creamy while remaining crumbly and spreadable. Add in that there are so many delicious flavours to try, perfect for every palette. Boursin is also great about adding new delicious flavours to their line up of cheeses, and the flavour that I chose for my brunch is no exception. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Boursin Apple & Maple.



When I was tasked to host an intimate brunch using the new Boursin flavour Apple & Maple, I knew that I wanted to venture away from my typical cheese plate. Although I'm not a huge fan of cooking and the prep that comes along with it, I tried re-imagining how I would use the new Boursin flavour and in the end I was really happy with the results!

Here's a quick breakdown of a very simple addition to your brunch menu using the new Boursin Apple & Maple flavour:


  • Cut a baguette into one-inch pieces. You may wish to toast your baguette pieces, but I prefer not. I find it makes them easier to eat when left un-toasted.
  • Slice up an apple into very thin pieces
  • Spread some Boursin Apple & Maple onto your pieces of baguette. The amount is totally up to you, but my cheese philosophy is always 'more is more'
  • Arrange your slices apples on top of the Boursin
  • Top with a walnut
  • Enjoy!




After it was all said and done, my intimate and simple brunch winded down and there were barely any leftovers to pack up. The Boursin Apple & Maple mini toasts were a hit and I think they may be a welcome addition to all of my hosting menus.

Have you ever hosted a casual brunch? What are some of your favourite no-bake, no-cook recipes? Let me know!

xo Joëlle

This post was created in partnership with Boursin. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
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Thursday, 11 April 2019

When Shit Hits The Fan



If you were to ask me how my pregnancy was going, I would always answer the same way. "It's going great! Just waiting for shit to hit the fan." My standard response, because honestly I've had a really good pregnancy so far. I've felt great, minimal sickness, hardly any of the symptoms that you hear plague most women. I would throw in the "waiting for shit to hit the fan" as part of my schtick, so as to not come off as gloating for having such an easy pregnancy. Did I actually expect anything to possibly go wrong? To be honest, no. Until this past Sunday when shit really did hit the fan.

The weekend was a good one, and totally uneventful. After an easy Sunday Brian and I had dinner, watched some TV and then went to bed. I woke up that evening with terrible stomach cramps, nausea and some vomiting. "Food poisoning" I thought, after cursing making beef for dinner. I mentally swore off red meat and dragged myself to bed to try and sleep it off.

The next morning I felt a little bit off, but figured that I was on the mend. Then all of a sudden, without warning, I started shaking - and couldn't stop. It was so bad that I couldn't walk, could barely talk and after Brian ran home from work we both decided that I should go to the hospital. One ambulance ride later and I was lying on a stretcher in the hallway of emergency. Thankfully because the paramedics knew about my pregnancy, I was transferred quickly to labor and delivery to check on the baby. After some preliminary tests, they discovered that I was severely dehydrated and as a result the baby's heartbeat was faster then it should be. No worries, they told me, just rehydrate and baby's heart rate should lower. I drank as much water as I possibly could, and sure enough baby's heart beat started to lower. I was so happy and thought that the worst was over - and then the shaking started again.

At this point, one of the doctors had come in to check on me and was very concerned. They hooked me up to an IV to control re-hydration and I started to feel better. So much so that I figured it was just dehydration and that I would be able to go home once my IV was done. The one doctor who had witnessed my shaking and had asked me about my nausea and vomiting the night before was definitely being more cautious. He hit me with the bad news - although the chances were very slim, he was concerned that I had contracted Listeriosis and would be treated as such until the blood cultures they had taken were cleared negative. Likely 48 hours.

Listeria is no joke - especially when you're pregnant. It only took a quick Google search to confirm every expectant mother's worst fears - Listeria is devastating for an unborn baby and the prognosis is not good - should they even make it. OMG what a horrible moment that was. I couldn't believe it - I was being so good the entire pregnancy, staying away from soft cheeses, deli meats - everything! Although I was assured that the chances were very slim, you definitely start to assume the worst and I was so anxious to get the results back from my blood tests.

And thus begun my hospital stay. Because I was suspected of contracting Listeriosis, I was placed in isolation. Hey, at least that meant I got my own room. I stayed in that room for the duration of my stay, leaving only to have an abdominal ultrasound to check on my organs, and another ultrasound to check on baby. I was hooked up to an IV for rehydration, as well as receiving antibiotics. I met my team of doctors from the infectious disease unit who were being so thorough, it made me feel very relieved. The nurses are all saints too. As the days went on, I was assured that what I had was likely not Listeria, but they still needed the results back from my blood cultures.

To make a long story short, in the end it wasn't Listeria - THANK GOD! I had a UTI that had moved into my blood stream and had lead to an infection in my kidneys. All very treatable with antibiotics, and because they caught it incredibly early there's been no damage to my kidneys. And the best news of all - baby is 100% fine.  I was SO relieved after my ultrasound to see a healthy baby.

So yes, shit did hit the fan this week. But all in all, I'm incredibly grateful with the outcome. Now I'm going to continue with my relatively stress-free pregnancy, but without any schtick about shit hitting the fan. The truth is that I'm so lucky to have a pregnancy that allows me to travel, be comfortable in my day-to-day life and allows me to enjoy the process of becoming a mom. I will never take that for granted again.

Because of the incredible care I received, I'm able to continue with all of our pregnancy plans. This weekend we're hosting a very small gender reveal party with our families, and next weekend Brian and I are taking off to NYC. Most importantly, baby is fine. I'm feeling very grateful.

Dare I say it - I feel blessed.

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