Classics with a Twist


How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was the perfect balance of action and rest.

Saturday, Karo and her sister came over for appetizers and dinner before heading out to what would be a very pretentious club. More on that in sec.

For dinner, I decided to make a dish that was classic Jess from University along with a new appetizer.

Appetizers are a must for any girly soirée in my opinion.  The appetizer in question I decided to make was a spin on something I’ve done in the past: Baked Brie.

If ever you needed confirmation on my French roots…

Anyway, in previous events I’d prepared this dish using puff pastry and it is always a crowd pleaser.  However, when I got to the grocery store all they had was Phyllo pastry sheets so I figured we would try that out instead.  This turned out to be a pretty good idea.

If you’re planning on hosting a holiday party this season, I highly recommend you try this dish out.  Not only will it impress your guests, it has got to be one of the easiest things to make.  Always a plus for entertaining guests throughout the potentially stressful holiday season.

Phyllo Baked Brie

You will need:

1 8oz round of Brie (I used fine herb, accidentally, but it worked out perfectly)

2 tbsp orange marmalade

2-3 sheets phyllo pastry

I know, I know, you’re seeing “fine herb brie” and “orange marmalade” in the same recipe.  But, believe me when I say this turned out to be an amazing flavour combination.


Preheat oven to 350

Slice off the very top of the round of brie, discard.  Or eat it, depending on how hungry you are.

Top with marmalade.

Wrap the phyllo pastry sheets around the brie 1 sheet at a time* by placing the brie in the center of the sheet and pulling the corners up and bunch the excess in the middle to create a ruffled top.

Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.  Enjoy with some sliced-up baguette or crackers.

*Remember to keep the phylly sheets moist as you use them.  You can do this by placing a damp towel over the sheets.

Sorry guys, we got a little excited and this is the only evidence I have of the Baked Brie.

I’ll try to make another one soon to show you how it looks.

Following the appetizers we watched Leap Year and then got down to cooking dinner.

As I mentioned earlier, I decided to make a classic dish I was known for in our University years:  Penne Romanoff.

I was first introduced to this dish back in High School and have been slightly obsessed with it ever since.  I’ve tried many different recipe variations until I mastered this one:

Penne Romanoff with Pink Peppercorns

You will need:

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 small onion diced

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 tbsp pink peppercorns

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

½ tsp sea salt

1 tbsp basil

1 can diced tomatoes

1/3 c. cooking cream

¼ c. vodka

Parmesan cheese

1 Box Penne Pasta


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add in pasta and cook until al dente.  Set aside.

Heat Olive oil in large sauté pan, add in onions and cook until soft and fragrant.

Add in garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.

Add in basil, peppercorns, pepper flakes and salt. Crush the peppercorns with the back of the spoon a bit to release the flavours.

Add in your tomatoes and vodka, bring to a simmer.

Pour in cream and parmesan cheese and bring back up to a simmer and let sauce thicken slightly.

Taste and adjust seasonings then pour over your pasta, top with extra cheese and serve.

This dish is truly a winner and a crowd pleaser; Karo, her sister, and my roommate all loved this dish so I definitely recommend you try it out!

As I mentioned, following dinner we went to a club that turned out to be the worst idea.  Aside from the general “I’m better than you” attitude held by everyone ranging from the bouncers to the bartenders to the other club patrons, we were nearly knocked over by someone every 5 minutes and then one girl decided she’d like to pour a drink down my back.  We called it a night after that one.

But, in other fun news, my roommate and I decided to get into the spirit of things and put up the Christmas Tree!

Très chic, isn’t it? haha I think the inspiration is Sex and the City meets Burlesque… Nonetheless, this has gotten me into the holiday spirit and I’m officially excited for Christmas!

Next on the list: Christmas Cookies!

Mama Starkey has just (re)sent me Grandma’s recipe for sugar cookies so stay tuned for that one!

Alright, bedtime for this girl; she’s got a date with the gym in the AM.

How were your weekends? Have you started getting into the Christmas/Holiday spirit?




About Jess @ MTL Veggie

Jess, the face behind The MTL Veggie is a vegetarian, athlete, marketer and Torontonian turned Montrealer. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, photography, running, yoga, skiing, and of course blogging. The MTL Veggie recaps her recipes, restaurant reviews, and what it's like to be a Leafs fan living in Montreal (hint: scary at times).
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3 Responses to Classics with a Twist

  1. Jessica says:

    This sounds so good! I just got some organic pink peppercorns from Sustainable Sourcing and I think I’ll try them out in this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Susan says:

    Yaayyyy! You’re back!!! Can’t wait to hear about these changes! I love the boa around the tree 😛

    I’m usually a bit of a Grinch, but I’m going home to the Maritimes next week and SUPER excited for the holidays this year.

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