Fall trees in Montreal

Delicious French-Canadian Comfort Food.

Let’s brave the winter together; with future forecasts expecting a colder Winter than usual, we thought a good way to prepare for this would be to bundle up and whip up some Quebecois classic comfort food to keep you warm and fuzzy throughout the entirety of Winter. With Quebec and more specifically Montreal, being such a huge food destination, it’s important to revisit these classics that’ve kept us warm for generations and generations. For many Quebecois these dishes bring back fond childhood memories or are just our guilty pleasures but whatever it may be we can promise that these dishes are as authentic and delicious as they come. Here is MontrealTips’ Top 5 Quebecois Winter Comfort Foods.

  1. Poutine
(Unsplash: Photo by Francisca Alvarez)

We thought we’d start off with an absolute classic, the poutine. Enjoyed across Canada but born in Quebec no list can ever be complete without the mention of poutine. It is the quintessential Quebecois dish as it not only plays on childhood memories but is also an authentic guilty pleasure for most. The ingredients are incredibly simple consisting of gravy, fries and cheese curds. Poutine is also messy by nature but dont let that fool you as it is way too delicious for its own good. While we won’t pick a side on who has the best poutine in Montreal any time soon (because frankly there are too many good choices) we can introduce you to how easy it is to make a homemade version for yourself.

Of course if you are not feeling up to it you can pretty much order or get one basically anywhere but If you’re feeling adventurous you can try your hand at making some at home. The gravy is relatively easy to make (look for an easy recipe online) and the cheese curds are also easy to find. You can actually usually find them at your local Couche Tard, of course you can get some higher quality ones at the grocery store. You can also use some fresh hand cut fries and add additional toppings if you’re feeling up to it and voila, you’ve made one of Quebec’s classic hardy meals!

  1. Pâté Chinois


Which oddly translates to Chinese Pie, is basically Quebec’s version of a shepherds pie. Another staple of the Quebecois diet it mainly consists of layers of mashed potatoes, minced meat, onions and corn. The dish while definitely filling and hardy is again quite simple to make. For many Quebecois this is a classic meal that would be frequently eaten during any time of the year but really hits the spot when Winter is upon us. Finding this in restaurants is harder to find than expected unless you go to a real authentic Quebecois restaurant. However, most of the time this dish was made at home when there weren’t a lot of options left to eat. Due to its simplicity it is frequently enjoyed and relatively easy to make. We challenge you to give it a try and make your own this winter!

(Photo by Recette.qc.ca)

  1. Tourtière

My all time personal favorite, tourtière is simply just a Quebecois version of a meat pie. Traditionally, it is made with minced beef or pork and baked with pie crust, an assortment of spices and topped with ketchup just before eating. For many Quebecois, myself included, tourtière is a dish that is often enjoyed during the holidays. Christmas eve is just not the same without my moms tourtière and I’m sure it is the same with many other Quebecois. Each household has their own version of it whether they use different meat, spices or baking techniques, they are always delicious. While this dish takes a bit more effort and love put into it we promise it’s worth the extra work. It truly falls under the comfort food category and will keep you trying different recipes to find the perfect version for you.

(Photo by Robinhood.ca)

  1. Split Pea Soup With Ham Hock

What’s winter comfort food without a sort of hearty soup? When thinking of French-Canadian foods the first two things that come to mind are poutine and smoke meat. While of course they are staples in Quebecois food culture, there’s another dish that stands out to me and that is pea soup with ham hock. This dish comes from the explorers age where food was scarce and you used what you had to stretch your food rations to last you through the winter. This dish can be easily made at home as it’s made from dried beans, mirepoix and ham to give it an extra layer of flavor. It is also relatively easy to make and will keep you warm and filled for hours on end. The dish can be served as a side dish but of course can be used as a main meal.

  1. Fèves Au Lard
Photo by Shawn Lee on Unsplash

Fèves au lard which translates to beans with bacon is another traditional Quebecois dish that has its roots implanted with the initial settlers and explorers of New France. While this dish isn’t anything revolutionary on its own, it’s the Quebecois spin on it that truly makes it great. The addition of maple syrup really brings this dish to the next level and again matches the time frame where it was invented due to the fact that they used what they had access to. It is traditionally served as a breakfast side dish and you’ve probably had an encounter with it if you’ve visited a Sugar Shack at one point in your life. The dish can easily be made a home and of course we suggest you try it out and take your own spin on it to enjoy.

(Photo by Glouton.ca)

And there you have it, our top 5 Quebecois comfort dishes to get your through this winter. If there’s something that is evident from the list we provided is that Quebecois cuisine doesn’t have to be complicated for it to work. The beauty of it is that they use everyday ingredients and create something great with them. The dishes can easily be adopted for your new home cooking adventures while adding personal touches to make it yours in the end. We hope everyone tries these dishes and to have a happy and safe holiday!

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Disclaimer: Always Stay Safe. And if you are in the red zones, always stay at home and follow the federal and provincial regulation.

Montreal Winter Activities for 2021

Things to do in Montréal in winter 2021

Winter can be tough for some of us but we are here to try and make it a little better! Under normal circumstances, we would recommend a plethora of different activities and festivals to visit and participate in but with covid, there is just so much uncertainty and we will work with what is available this year. However, we have compiled a shortlist for you to make this holiday season an even more special and memorable one! 

This is MontrealTips’ Top 5 Winter Attractions 2020/2021:

  1. Our first option on the list is to visit Mount Royal Park during a nice snowfall. We can at least guarantee this to be available during the wintertime so it is a great place to start. Try and pick a day where it isn’t too cold and really take in the simplicity of it all. Visiting Mount Royal Park easily embodies Montreal’s winter scenery at its finest. It is a great time to spend with family and friends and a great area to bring your dogs for an adventure! The park also has regular walking trails as well as snowshoe trails and of course ice skating for all those interested
  1. Something I was truly worried about is returning this year and that’s Montreal’s, Christmas Market! Located just on the outskirts of Atwater Market, the Christmas market is open every weekend from November 26th to December 20th. It is currently the 5th year they do this and have always had a great time. As the name would suggest, the market offers visitors a chance to discover talented local artisans and their products all bundle up in a very Christmasy experience. It is a great way to help encourage local talent and to make new friends! Visiting the market is also free but like with a lot of things there are efforts to respect covid rules and that includes a capacity limit so make sure you get there early!
  1. For the first time ever, Montreal will actually be host to not one but two Christmas markets! This time the new one will be held at the Jean-Talon Market and available from December 4th to December 23rd. The market offers visitors “to make gastronomic discoveries and enjoy local crafts”. One of the aisles will also be occupied by small wooden cottages that offer warm-up spots and other comforting products like hot chocolate and churros. Like the Atwater Christmas market, it is a relaxing way to spend a weekend with friends and family during this holiday season.
  2. A classic amongst most Montrealers and tourists is visiting the Old Port during the holiday season. It’s equally as magical of a place as the Christmas villages but really shows off Montreal to its core. The decorations, the sights, the smells are all a part of the experience. While restaurants and bars won’t be able to fill that void this season, it is still worthwhile to take a stroll around the Old Port for a relaxing time and an extra excuse to get in those extra steps to walk off that extra covid weight! 
  1. With the Christmas villages up and running, their cousin, Montreal’s Winter Gardens is also alive and well this year. At Place des Arts,  after spending time shopping, take a trip down to The Winter Gardens and take in the sights and sounds of the holidays. The gardens promise an enchanting evening which will make your next winter memories a memorable one. Walk around and take in the sights and really bask in the holiday spirit by visiting the Winter Gardens this year! Starting from December 5th until January 3rd, 2021 and considered “a little treasure hidden in the heart of the Quartier des spectacles”, which really brings out the Christmas spirit in all of us. 

And there you have it. MontrealTips’ Top 5 Winter Attractions, we hope you have the chance to support the local talent and have a great time visiting them and want to wish everybody happy holidays!

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Looking for a good coffee maker for your home office?

What are the Best Coffee Machines for your home office?

– The Illy X7.1
– Nespresso Essenza Mini Coffee Machine
– SharkNinja Hot and Cold Brew System
– KRUPS Grind
– Classic Bialetti Moka Pot


With coffee being the lifeblood of so many offices it has come to our attention that quite a few of us are now missing that great machine that some of our offices used to have. With most of us working from home now, we understand how this has put a damper on all of our coffee dreams. Fear not, as with all things lately we must be prepared to adapt to change and bringing the office home is no exception. We understand that different people enjoy different types of coffee but we did our best to get you something that works for you. We have committed time and effort to our research and personal experiences to come up with a list of great coffee machines that would complete your home office situation and have you starting your day off right.


1. The Illy X7.1

The Illy X7.1: The Illy X7.1 is one of the sharpest looking machines on our list while still delivering a full bodied espresso with every cup. The machine is compact with easy to use features and a Pannarello steam wand that easily froths milk for cappuccinos and lattes. No matter how you like to start your days the Illy X7.1 is a safe bet for a consistently great coffee. (~$325 CAD)

The Illy X7.1 coffee machine for the home office

(Source: Amazon.ca)

2. Nespresso Essenza Mini Coffee Machine

For all of you who love the capsule/pod machines we’ve got you covered. There are a lot to choose from but the Nespresso Essenza Mini Coffee Machine really fits the bill in terms of having a home office friendly machine. It is small and compact which makes it a fantastic space saver to easily fit where you need it. It also requires almost zero effort to make and it will consistently make a coffee you are familiar with. Better yet, with the pods, you can mix things up depending on what you feel for on a daily basis. (~ $179 CAD)

Nespresso Essenza Mini Coffee Machine coffee machine for the home office

(Source: Amazon.ca)

3. SharkNinja Hot and Cold Brew System

Easily the most versatile coffee maker on our list the SharkNinja Hot and Cold Brew System really offers a wide array of coffee and tea options. It has 6 different brew sizes and as the name suggests it can do excellent hot or cold brewed coffee and tea. The machine has separate baskets for tea and coffee, a frother and has the ability to make specialty drinks making it incredibly versatile and able to cure any of your different cravings.(~ $257 CAD)

SharkNinja Hot and Cold Brew System

(Source: Amazon.ca)

4. KRUPS Grind

If you’re looking for something with a coffee grinder built-in, then the KRUPS Grind and Brew Coffee Maker is your best bet. This machine makes freshly ground coffee that really gets you the freshest tasting coffee possible. Filtered coffee has that tendency of being just right but imagine having even more flavour come through because of the ground beans. It also has a 10 cup capacity and comes with a brew strength selector for those who like to customize their coffee. It also has easy maintenance and a great filter that’s easy to clean making this a very good all-around coffee maker. (~$244 CAD)

KRUPS Grind coffee machine

(Source: Amazon.ca)

5. Classic Bialetti Moka Pot

Nothing reminds me more of Sunday mornings at my nonnas than the classic Bialetti Moka Pot. A Italian household staple, this little handy machine is a personal favorite of mine. It is designed to make espresso as the name would suggest but is actually very easy to use and will produce a good coffee every time. It is meant to be used on stove tops but will work on electric stoves just fine. Its ease of use yet still provides a robust flavor with every cup. Pro tip: If you have extra, pour the leftovers in a glass bottle and seal it in the fridge for some iced espresso the following days. (Dont let it sit for too long however!) (~$40 CAD)

Classic Bialetti Moka Pot

(Source Amazon.ca)

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Disclaimer: The article include amazon affiliate links, linking to amazon.ca.

Disclaimer: Articles is based on personal research and experiences.

VEHICLE MIND: ACCESSING YOUR CAR’S DATA

Montreal Tips is proud to present this week’s new feature, Vehicle Mind!

 

We love promoting Montreal-based businesses and Vehicle Mind is exactly that and more. Have you ever wondered if it was possible to see your car’s stats as you would in a video game or like in a James Bond movie? Well, the technology allowing you to do that not only exists but it was developed in our own backyard, so to speak. Based in Montreal and co-founded by local entrepreneur Abhay Ghatpande, Vehicle Mind aims to forever transform how you maintain your car.

VEHICLE MIND APP on mobile

https://vehiclemind.com/



Vehicle Mind has developed a connected device which plugs into your car’s OBD port (the car’s “computer”) and unlocks key information about your vehicle’s health through an app, effectively bridging the current data gap between car owners and their car. 

At its core, Vehicle Mind offers drivers access to their car’s datainformation only dealerships and mechanics have been privy to until nowempowering them with the ability to increase their car’s lifespan and be in better control of its safety and maintenance.

 

Here are some of the innovative features being offered by Vehicle Mind:

  • A dashboard view of your car’s “health” and status
  • Insights on fuel consumption and driving habits
  • Check engine lights explained through the app 
  • Real-time GPS tech so you can locate your car at all times
  • Regular maintenance reminders
  • Round-the-clock safety alerts (battery, engine, low-fuel)  

VEHICLE MIND APP on mobile

https://vehiclemind.com/

Montreal fun facts: 

  • Vehicle Mind also detects the amount of potholes your car hits, which is a neat feature all of us Montrealers will hold dear to our hearts! 
  • As if that wasn’t impressive enough, it also comes equipped with alerts for towingwhich is another occurrence many may be all too familiar with during winter seasons.

Have your driving habits changed because of COVID-19? Turns out Vehicle Mind’s features and benefits equally apply to challenges drivers are now facing because of the pandemic. For example, your car sitting idle for long periods of time because you’re now working remotely can have a greatly negative impact on your car’s battery. Car theft, up an astounding 63% in certain North American cities, is another unfortunate side effect of lockdown measures and a decrease in commutes to work. With these facts in mind, being able to keep tabs on your car from your smartphone can truly be a gamechanger.

 

Vehicle Mind is a startup we Montrealers can truly be proud of and we cannot wait to see what the future has in store for them.

To support a Montreal business and a local entrepreneur, give Vehicle Mind a visit here: https://vehiclemind.com/ 

Exciting news as Tarek Riman releases his new book A Beginners Guide to Paid Search Marketing: Search Engine Marketing for Beginners” making this his 4th book in his career.

As a professional digital marketer, Tarek believes in sharing his passion with the world. He also explains how it doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds. A Beginners Guide to Paid Search Marketing takes you on a journey of explaining the ins and outs of the SEM world in a beginner-friendly manner. With digital marketing being one of the fastest-growing fields in the industry the book is aimed to not only be accessible to newcomers as the name would suggest, but is actually quite profound, detailed and cutting edge for even veterans of the industry to enjoy and learn something new. As mentioned in the book, the digital world is always moving and it is our job as marketers to adapt to these changes. 

Tarek helps you stay current as everything he teaches in the book is all relevant to the field and will help keep you ahead of the curve. Tarek provides you with everything you would need to know such as how to properly plan, set up and launch successful SEM campaigns, the best optimizations, how to make effective ads and much more.

 

 His human touch helps keep the book feel real and alive without it sounding like you are in a boring lecture. The author makes you feel comfortable and at ease with SEM and you can easily grasp examples that he provides which are industry standard to help better prepare you for real-life scenarios. Tarek’s goal in all of this is to help people, the book was written for your average students, entrepreneurs, markets and business owners in mind and if you fall into one of these categories the book is a must-add to your collection. 

 

And remember,

 “Always be human. Especially in Marketing” – Tarek Riman

To see more of Tarek’s work, check out amazon.