Thursday, October 21, 2010


I love baking bread and so does Ron there is something very cathartic about it and very spiritual. However I am also always on the look out for quick bread recipes.  I came across this video by Mark Bittman on You Tube. In case you don't know him, he has written numerous cookbooks his latest is at Chapters, and also write for the NEW YORK TIMES. But gals save your money and go to you tube, where you can see countless video of him in action, cooking and baking.
This recipe caught my eye, because |I am all for the short cuts! and when I saw that you don't need to knead this dough, well I was sold.
Now I am a convert and have this bread on the go all the time in my house.

I made two loaves this day, and while talking on the phone left the second one in a little longer and henceforth the darker texture but none the less still delicious.

I always like to play with the recipe, by fooling around with the quantities but basically here is the recipe that any 4 year old can do.

3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. yeast

MIX by hand just to incorporate ingredients

COVER and leave for 12-24 hours

Next day
Pre heat oven to 500F
When temperature is reached, preheat Corning dish and lid in oven.

TAKE out dough and fold over a few times to form a squarish round shape,
COVER with towel.
When the corning dish or cast iron pot is hot carefully remove from oven and plop in your bread from the tea towel.
Cover your pot with lid , this creates steam and helps your bread rise and bake.
Bake for 30 minutes at 500.
Remove lid and continue baking for additional 20 minutes until desired color is reached.
(20 minutes yields dark crust, 15 minutes yields golden crust)
Please check out the video on You Tube.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I know that most of you probably have some turkey left over from the holidays. Our house is no exception. We enjoyed the roasted bird on thanksgiving, had the hot turkey sandwiches later on that week and also enjoyed some midnight raids to the fridge for a snack on those drumsticks.But thankfully, we are now going to put the bird to rest with some turkey pot pie.

This recipe is not only great with leftover turkey but also chicken.It is healthy, easy, a real autumn comfort meal and also quite tasty.

1 recipe for your favourite pastry dough
2 med. onions chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
2 carrots peeled and sliced
2-3 potatoes diced and boile2T. vegetable oil 2 tsp. thyme 3T. parsley chopped
1tsp. oregano
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
( i also had some Chardonnay wine left over which I added for an extra flavour boost)
1/4-1/3 cup flour Depending if you added any extra liquid like the wine)
1 can of peas, or what ever vegetable you have left over and you think will make a nice addition to your pot pie.

Pre heat oven to 425F. In a large pot heat your oil and saute your onions, celery thyme, oregano,and carrots until tender. Stir in your flour and continue to cook constantly stirring over low heat. Add your stock and milk. Bring to a boil and continue stirring until mixture thickens. Add turkey, vegetables and pre-boiled potatoes. Season with salt , pepper, and parsley. Roll out pastry dough and cover whatever vessel you have used for your turkey mixture. Either individual servings or 1 large pie plate or casserole. Bake in pre heated oven for 15. minutes lower heat to 350 and continue baking until tops are golden , about another 20-30 minutes.

Monday, October 11, 2010


You know the saying when life hands you lemons make lemonade? Well last week some very good friends gave my sister bags of peppers and well you guessed correctly,  pepper jelly is what we turned it into, and now we have enough to enjoy ourselves and to share as gifts for the holiday.

Here is a sample of the 12 jars that were made from the batch of mostly green, yellow and red peppers.

I searched high and low for a good  pepper jelly recipe, and in the end chose this one from the Chatelaine archives,on YouTube entitled ,'How to make red pepper jelly".

This recipe is great at breakfast over your bagel and cream cheese, on a cracker on it's own,my husband even puts it over peanut butter , but as we are coming into holiday season why not have some on hand over your warmed Brie wheel or jazz up your jar and give as a house gift with the recipe because after all food is for sharing. Enjoy!
Just in case this link does not work I will include the recipe here.
6red peppers
3C. sugar(or Splenda substitute follow their direction)
1/2 C. apple cider vinegar
1-2tsp. Tabasco(Chipolte flavored)
1pouch liquid Certo ( pectin)

1.Clean peppers and quarter
2.Pulse and process in a food processor.
3.Drain the peppers and squeeze the pulp through a sieve until you have 1 cup of pepper juice.
4.Over medium heat bring to a boil the juice, sugar, vinegar and Tabasco. Boil for 3 minutes skim off the foam.
5. Add the liquid pectin and bring back to a boil for another minute. If necessary skim off the foam again.
6. Pour into jars,clean off rims and seal.

Monday, October 4, 2010


 I know what you are all thinking, not another cake! Believe me I am also cooking not just baking, but I just had to blog about this delicious Greek ALMOND and YOGURT CAKE with CITRUS SYRUP.

The cake tastes even better the day after it is made,when it has time to fully absorb the syrup. Serve the cake on it's own or with vanilla  Ice Cream  or with fresh fruit ,or like I did with some whipped cream.
This Greek cake recipe comes from a lovely book called The Foods of the Greek Islands by Aglaia Kemezi. I hope to make some more recipes from this cookbook so please stay tuned.

1 cup sugar
3 large eggs separated
2 T. unsalted butter softened
1 cup yogurt
1 cup fine semolina
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup brandy
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup coarsely chopped unblanched almonds

1 1/2 cup sugar or 1 cup sugar plus 3 tablespoons honey, or 4-5 tablespoons marmalade
1 1/4 cup water
Zest of 1/2 a lemon removed in strips with a vegetable peeler
3-4 T. Brandy

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease a 10 inch round cake pan or a springform pan
Set aside 2 tablespoons of the sugar. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the remaining sugar with the egg yolks until light colored, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the butter yogurt and semolina.
Sift together the flour and baking powder. Beat the flour mixture into the egg yolk mixture, together with the brandy and lemon zest.
In a large bowl beat the egg whites until they form peaks. Fold them into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the almonds. Press then lightly with a spatula so that they are almost completely submerged. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 T sugar.
Bake for 40 minutes or until top is golden brown.
Meanwhile make the syrup
Stir the sugar , water and lemon peel in a small saucepan and bring to boil Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat if using marmalade add now. Add the brandy.

As soon as you remove the cake from the oven , remove the lemon peel from the syrup and very slowly spoon the syrup over the cake evenly and saturate the entire surface. Let cool before serving. Store at room temperature.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Ron has a birthday over the long week-end. We had a quiet celebration with just the family. Ron wanted a lighter cake this year and as he loves lemon decided to make his own lemon curd to use in the recipe although I usually just use a lemon pie filling mixture..This is a great cake to make when you are serving a heavier meal as it it light and fluffy, and no matter how much my guests say they can't eat another bite, they always manage to have room for this cake.

I had egg whites left over in the fridge from another recipe,
and I never know how long you are able to keep them without them spoiling so... I also made a Dacquoise with almonds, had no hazelnuts, and we managed to eat both cakes quite easily.
. All in all a very enjoyable evening.

The Dacquoise recipe can be found in last years archives.

1 3/4 C. flour
1T. bakeing powder
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. oil
6 egg yolks
3/4 C. water
1T. grated lemon rind
6 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar


3/4 C.sugar
1 C. whipping cream
2 1/2 C lemon pie filling

Combine flour, baking powder, and 1/2 cup sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir well to blend Add oil, egg yolks, water and lemon rind. Beat with mixer until smooth. Beat in smaller mixing bowl egg whites,cream of tartar to form stiff peaks. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar beating until very stiff peaks are formed. Then fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture gently but thoroughly. Turn batter into 10 inch tube pan. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes Invert and cool . Loosen edges when cool and shake pan  to remove cake.
FILLING: Beat whipping cream to stiff peaks fold in lemon filling, chill if necessary.
Assemble cake bycutting layers , I only cut the cake in half, putting filling mixture inside and then use remaining lemon filling  on the outside of the cake. Cake will need to be refrigerated before serving.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


It seems that there has been one birthday after another, and Ron's is still to come next Sunday. I don't mind,as it gives me an opportunity to try some of the cakes that I have had bookmarked for a while.
When a dear friend told me that her mix/master went kaput, it was only natural to offer to make the birthday cake for her daughter. After all, Seeta has made many an Indian dinner for us, lovingly put it into the tiff'n'carry and brought over to us to enjoy, and   we have enjoyed them immensely.

The Cake had turned out exactly as I had hoped that it would, as the directions,while time consuming were easy to follow.

I did double the recipe as I felt a four layer cake looked more impressive, and to be truthful the single recipe said that I would be able to cut the cake into 3 layers but that was just not the case, as the best I could have gotten out of it would have been 2 layers, not 3.

I always worry that I do not put in enough butter cream in the center or then I worry I've put in too much and then won't have enough for the outside frosting. But in this case it all worked out correctly there was enough frosting for the entire cake and the frosting recipe was NOT doubled. As a matter of fact this was the first time I made a Swiss Meringue frosting and I was quite pleased with the end product.

I wanted to make a special birthday cake for this lovely, beautiful, gal and the Chocolate Pistachio Cake fit the bill.It was one that I was itching to try. I had it bookmarked for a few years now,(since 2008) and if you go to, it's Jenny's recipe modified from Death by Chocolate by Marcel Desaulniers.
The cake was a huge hit and the evening was lovely.

( I made two of these for my 4 layer cake)
11/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon flour
6 T. unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 oz. butter plus extra for coating the pan
2 oz, unsweetened chocolate broken into pieces
2 eggs
1 tsp.vanilla
1 tsp. raspberry vinegar
1 cup boiling water
Pre heat oven to 325 degrees
Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a sifter. Sift onto wax paper or a bowl set aside.
Prepare your pans ( 2, 9x3 inch round pans) with butter, and parchment paper, I never use parchment paper because my pans are non-stick, and i never have a problem.
Gently melt unsweetened chocolate over water bath or on half power in micro, stirring to prevent burning. Set aside
Beat sugar and butter together in mixer fitted with paddle. Beat on medium for 1 minute, then on high for 1 minute,
Scrape down the sides and beat on high for another 15 seconds, after the addition of each egg.
Add vanilla and vinegar and beat on high for 20 seconds
Add the melted chocolate and mix on low for 10 seconds.
Scrape down the sides .
Boil the water.
On low add the dry ingredients, mix for 10 seconds.
CAREFULLY add the boiling water, continue to mix for 10 seconds on low, then increase to medium speed for another 5 seconds.
Pour into pans and bake for 45 minutes or until center comes out clean. I needed to add an additional 15 minutes for a total baking time of 60 minutes. I usually don't have a problem with my stove temperature, but this cake center was still sticky in the center at 45 minutes.
Cool Pans, then remove cake and cool another 20 minutes. Then put cake in fridge for 1 hour while you prepare the next stages.

this amount was perfect for the 4 layer cake
8 egg whites
16 oz. sugar
1 pound butter at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1.5 cups shelled pistachios

Blanche the pistachios in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Place nuts in a cotton tea towel and vigorously rub to loosen and remove the skins. Toast the pistachios on a baking sheet for 15 minutes at 325 and allow to cool at room temperature.
Reserve a few whole nuts for garnish and chop the rest.

Combine the egg whites and sugar in a bowl. Whisk constantly over a bain marie until 140F. temperature is reached. Then place bowl on mixer with balloon attachment and whisk until stiff.
Turn down whip speed to 3 and whip until cool to touch, this will take a while.
Change to a paddle and gradually add butter by tablespoon pieces. Once desired consistency is achieved add vanilla.
Take 2/3 of butter cream and fold in pistachios. this goes into the layers. The remainder 1/3 is for frosting the outside of the cake.

6 tablespoons heavy cream
4 oz, semi-sweet chocolate chopped
Bring cream to boil and immediately remove from heat. Pour over the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute. Stir until smooth and keep in fridge until firm for piping.

Cut off the dome tops of the cake. Slice each cake into 2 layers. Because the cake is very dense, you could choose to make a simple syrup and soak the layers. I choice to use a raspberry liqueur to soak the cake because  I knew it would be used after the actual birthday and I didn't want it to dry out.
Take 1/3 of the butter cream and spread in-between the layers.
Crumb coat the cake with a thin layer and then frost and decorate as desired. I spread a few pistachios over the top and then piped the ganache over it in swirls and piped some extra rose buds around the cake and put in the whole pistachios. 
Happy Birthday Chetna, Enjoy

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


It's my birthday on Thursday and Ronnie has been treating me with special treats every day this week. He's cute like that, it's his way of showing me that I'm special...even after 35 years..ahhh ! Enough of that !
Today's surprise was a salmon tartar.
The first time I had a salmon tartar was about 10 years ago at our favourite French Restaurant in the Gatineau Hills called Loree de Bois.
It was something that I always wanted to try at home, but truthfully just never got around to making.

Last year in Boulder Co. we celebrated Valentine's Day at the famous Flagstaff Restaurant, there I had tuna tartar as my appetizer, while Ron had some quail. Ron knows how much I enjoyed that tuna, I still talk and dream about it.It was quite the presentation with toasted triangles and was prepared at my table by the waiter.
What a lovely surprise my sweetie, made for me today.It was absolutely great and mouthwatering.
Can you tell that I enjoyed it?? I wonder what my surprise will be tomorrow?

1 Fillet sushi grade Atlantic/or Pacific Salmon (make sure your salmon is fresh)
2t capers
Olive oil
Sliceand cube  the salmon  into small cubes about 1/16" thick or thicker if you prefer.  Place cubed salmon in a glass bowl.  Rough chop about 2T of dill and about 4 strands of chives and add to the salmon.  Add 2T of capers to the salmon.  Add about 2T of olive oil to the salmon and stir to coat the salmon.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate the tartar for about an hour to let all the herbs and spices penetrate the tartar.  Approx 5 mins prior to serving squeeze half a lemon into the tartar and mix.  Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if required.  You can also add some extra lemon if you prefer. Serve with toasted baguette

Sunday, August 15, 2010


A very dear friend is celebrating a birthday and because her schedule has been very hectic lately and will continue to be so for another 2 weeks,a nice dinner celebration was not possible. But every birthday deserves a cake at the very least. The arrangements were made and coffee and cake it would be, even though it was only served after 10pm. I felt sorry for the gals that had to work the next day!
Barb loves chocolate and raspberries, so it wasn't very hard on deciding what cake to make, little did I know that I would be making it twice. I still don't quite know what went wrong, but suffice it to say the center of the cake was wobbly , even though I gave it an extra 10 minutes in the oven and then an additional 5 minutes. The end result was that when the cake cooled, it did solidify somewhat in the center and I thought that it would still be ok, seeing that it would have preserves in the center anyways,,, but then when  I cut the cake in half it all crumbled to the point where no amount of patching or covering up with icing would help.Too bad because the cake itself was delicious, almost like a brownie texture.
Sometimes it just goes like that! Ron offered to help me start it all over again, but to be truthful , it was late already, I did not have the energy left to have another go at it and mostly, could not deal with another disappointment. The basement pantry had a box of chocolate Duncan Hines and I knew that this was going to be foolproof. Don't get me wrong I will have another go at the original cake batter, but at another date. Or, if any of you are going to try it do let me know if it works for you.
 The inspiration for this cake comes from the Sachertorte, a famous cake that was created in the kitchen of Vienna's renowned Hotel Sacher.  The dense cake is coated with apricot reserves and then topped with a chocolate glaze.  This version features raspberry perseveres which provide a good counter point to the intense chocolate. Traditionally, |Sachertorte is eaten with lots of whipped cream. ( |While the original cake fell apart we are still enjoying the broken pieces with a cup of coffee as the cake itself is really very delicious and while the first attempt at it did not work for me it dose not mean ,the instructions are bad, as I have made many recipes from this book and they always work.I think it was just me.)

1C plain flour
8oz bitter sweet chocolate
3/4C  unsalted butter
1C sugar
6 lg. eggs separated at room temperature
1C seedless raspberry reserves
Chocolate Glaze
Whipped cream optional

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.  Butter the bottom and sides of a 9" spring form pan, set aside.

Place the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler placed over barely simmering water.  Stir often until the butter and chocolate melt.  Remove from over the water.  Whisk 1/2 C of the sugar into the egg yolks and then stir the egg mixture into the chocolate.  Using a mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites on medium high speed until soft peaks form while slowly adding the remaining 1/2c sugar.

Using a rubber spatula stir 1/4 of the whites into the chocolate mixture.  Gently fold in the flour.  Add the remaining egg whites, folding gently and thoroughly.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan using the spatula. 

Bake the cake until it puffs up and feels firm to the touch in the center.  25-30 mins.  If the center looks soupy, bake for another 5mins.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 3mins, then release and lift of the pan sides.  Place a wire rack on top of the cake and carefully invert them together.  Lift off the pan bottom and peel off the parchment paper if you used it.  Gently turn the cake back over onto another rack and let cool completely.  Cover the cake with a clean slightly damp kitchen towel so the outside does not dry out as it cools. 

To assemble the cake cut it in half horizontally, remove the top half.  Using a icing spatula spread 1/3c of preserves on the bottom layer.  Replace the top round.  Spread the remaining preserves over the top and sides of the cake.  Refrigerate the cake for 30mins to firm up the preserves.  Meanwhile make thew chocolate glaze.  Refrigerate the cake for 30mins to set the glaze.  Scrape any drippings from the sheet pan, rewarm the glaze and add a second coat.  When the glaze sets up slightly transfer the cake to a serving platter.  Serve immediately with whip cream.

Chocolate Glaze:
12oz semi sweet chocolate finely chopped
1c unsalted butter
2T corn syrup
Place the chocolate, butter and corn syrup in the top of a double boiler placed over barely simmering water and heat until the chocolate and butter melt, stirring often.  Remove from heat and pour the glaze through a fine mesh sieve.  Let cool to 92 degrees before serving.  (Taken from Essentials of Baking Williams-Sonoma)


Friday, August 6, 2010


Our favorite Italian Restaurant on Preston Street serves a mouth watering Veal Marsala accompanied with beautiful buttery capellini, however, the young men in our house don't eat red meat and veal is most definitely out of the question. Personally, on a certain level I admire and even agree with their views on the use of veal, but from a culinary side, milk feed veal is a lovely meat and as I'm writing this post the veal scallopini I had  2 weeks ago, is still a vivid, delicious, memory.
That being said, in preparing meals , one can almost always substitute any meat for another without loosing the main components in a recipe. In this case it was the Marsala Sauce.
One day, I would just love to learn how to make all those delicious sauces that I have had in some of my favorite French Restaurants...but today's post is Italian, and while we are substituting chicken for veal, I wish you can have a taste of this sauce as it is just heavenly, (if I may say so myself).
It is a fool proof recipe that lends itself easily to pasta (like linguine) or even a lovely mashed potato like my boys like to have it.

Marsala-which comes from the island of Sicily- is a fortified wine, meaning it is infused with spirits. It has a rich, smoky flavor. I used Marsal. You could also use dry sherry.
The entire meal took 35 minutes, another great substitute is to use skinless, boneless, chicken thighs as they are more tender and tastier that chicken breasts, the choice is yours.

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram, crushed
1/8 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms ( you could use drained canned mushrooms)
1/4 cup sliced green onion
3 T butter/margarine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry Marsala or dry sherry
Hot cooked pasta, such as capellini or linguine(optional)

1.In a shallow bowl, stir together flour, marjoram,salt, and pepper. Place each chicken piece between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound chicken lightly to about 1/4 inch thick. Remove plastic wrap. Lightly coat chicken pieces on both sides with the flour mixture, shake off excess.

2.Ina large skillet, cook mushrooms and green onion in 1 tablespoon of hot butter over medium-high heat for 4-6 minutes or until tender, remove from skillet. In the same skillet, cook chicken in remaining 2 tablespoons hot butter for the same time turning once.

3.Remove skillet from heat. Return mushrooms and green onion to skillet. Carefully add broth and Marsala to skillet. Bring mixture to boiling, reduce heat, simmer, uncovered for 2 more minutes stirring occasionally. Season sauce to taste with additional salt and pepper.  To serve , spoon mushroom mixture over chicken.

Monday, August 2, 2010


I can't remember from where this recipe came from,only that it was copied quickly on the back of an envelope and something that I was going to do last year. I was actually looking for another recipe when I came across the envelope and thought , "why not try this one?" after all the plums are in season and the rosemary is thriving in the garden.
My mother often made plum cake this time of year. German plum cake is usually made from yeast and prepared on a rectangular sheet with the plums quartered and layered on top and served with a dollop of whipped cream. While other cake batters are fine for the plums I prefer the yeast dough one. This recipe really intrigued me with the use of the olive oil and the addition of the rosemary,

The rosemary is incorporated in the preparation of the dough, can you see the little green flecks?

After the plums are placed on the dough you sprinkle another teaspoon of rosemary with the sugar over the plums.
The plum cake, was a success and a very easy lovely recipe it turned out to be as there was no kneading done by hand. Everything was completed in the mixer with the paddle and dough hook attachment. The only problem with the preparation of the cake is because it needs a double rise you should set aside a huge block of time. The first rise took 2 hours, the second rise in the spring form was 1.5 hours and then it took 1 hour in the oven. But well worth the effort.

Dough Ingredients;
250G flour
66g (1/4c) Milk
6g (2t) Instant Yeast
4g (2/3t) Salt
100g (2) Eggs
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1t chopped fresh rosemary
55g of sugar
113 (1/2c) olive oil

Topping Ingredients;
3 lg firm plums sliced
1t chopped fresh rosemary
34g of fine sugar

In the bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle combine the flour, milk, yeast, salt, eggs, lemon zest and rosemary.  Mix at low speed, dough will be stiff at this point.  Remove paddle and insert dough hook.  On medium speed gradually add sugar in about 5 increments making sure sugar is fully incorporated in between each increment.  Continue mixing at medium speed until the dough starts to come together around the hook about 2-5 minutes.  Remove dough hook and change back to the paddle add the olive oil and mix until incorporated (this will take a while).  If dough is still sticky add a tablespoon of flour at a time and lightly knead into the dough.  (I added an additional 3T of flour to get dough not to be sticky)  Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container cover and ferment at room temperature for about 2 hours. 

Press the dough into a disc and with fingers spread it to fill a 10" spring form pan.  Press the plum slices into the dough cover and proof for 1.5 hrs at room temperature.  Pre-heat oven to 400F before baking sprinkle the cake with rosemary and sugar.  Bake at 400 for 10mins and reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 40mins or until cake is golden brown.  Cool on wire rack for 10mins, then release the pan and continue to cool.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


It's way too hot to cook these days.The temperatures are soaring and the air conditioner runs constantly. Even the thought of firing up the BBQ seems to take too much energy. To be truthful, people around here don't have much of an appetite but let's face it, you have got to eat., at least I do. So why not a salad as a main meal?
The original recipe is actually made with watercress, but as you can see I didn't have any, although I did make a special trip to the green grocer especially for it, as luck would have it , they were all out, not a bunch in the entire store, but the jicama was there, something that is usually much harder to obtain...go figure!
I will write the recipe below for the watercress salad, keeping in mind that you can make many substitutions. The salad was refreshing, healthy with a really great, clean tasting vinaigrette .

the juice from  2 fresh lime
1 serano chili, thinly sliced
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 navel oranges,sliced, removing the pith and membrane
2 bunches watercress, large stems removed
1 small jicams peeled and finely julienned
1 ripe avocado peeled, pitted and sliced
In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, chile, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Pour in the oil in a thin steady stream while whisking constantly and thoroughly emulsified forming a vinaigrette. Set aside.
Prepare salad and orange slices,marinade jicama in extra lime or lemon juice.
Just before serving, drizzle the vinaigrette over the watercress mixture, carefully fold in the avocado slices, Taste and adjust the seasoning ,serve at once.

Is a member of the large legume family,the crunchy,ivory fleshed, brown- skinned jicama is a tuber used throughout Mexico. Its bland taste benefits from being marinated raw in lime juice or from being combined with fruits and vegetables.
Before using, peel away the skin and the fibrous layer beneath it with a sharp knife.(If jicama is hard to find you can substitute apples for it. In Ottawa, I found mine at the Asian store called T&T, Farm Boy carries it occasionally, ask for it.)

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I was over at a friend's house the other day and while sitting having a cold drink I picked up a new cookbook from her coffee table . It was a Williams-Sonoma Mexican cookbook. We have all had our share of Mexican classics such as Guacamole, Tacos, Enchiladas, Burritos just to name a few, but when my eye caught the recipe for a fish tacos, I immediately new what I was going to make for supper that night.
To be truthful I was getting a little tired of BBQing, and with the weather so hot I didn't want to be by the stove either but believe me, this recipe was so good everybody was still raving about it a whole day later!Well worth the little effort it took to make.

To make the batter, in a bowl, stir together the flour, garlic salt, and ground chile/or cayenne pepper.  Pour in the beer, whisking to make a smooth batter.  Cover and let stand for 1 hour.  Meanwhile, make the creamy salsa: in a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, ketchup and yogurt until blended.  Set aside.  I used red snapper and talapia fillets and cut the fish into strips each 3-5" long (10cm) and 3/4" wide (2cm) and place in a glass bowl.  Sprinkle with lime juice, garlic salt and ground chile and toss to mix.  Let marinade at room temperature for 10 minutes.  Pour the oil to a dept of 1" (2.5cm) into a deep frying pan and heat to 375F this may take up to 5 minutes.  Pat the fish strips dry with paper towels. One at a time, dip a strip into the batter allowing the excess to drip off and slip into the hot oil, do not allow the pieces to touch.  Fry until the strips are crisp and golden approximately 7 minutes.  Transfer to paper towels to drain.  When all are fried transfer to a warmed serving plate.  Put the salsa fresca, cabbage, and limes in separate small bowls and set on the table along with the fish, creamy salsa, tortillas, and hot pepper sauce.  Let the diners make their own tacos wrapping the fish in a tortilla and adding the other items.  If you prefer you can heat the tortillas  in a frying pan. 

This chunky fresh salsa is the reigning condiments of Mexico.  It also goes by the name of pico de gallo in some regions.  In a Bowl toss together one pound of tomatoes cut into little pieces, a 1/4c finely chopped white onion, 1/4c loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro (or coriander), 3 serrano or jalapeno chiles seeded and finely chopped, 2T fresh lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and let stand for 10-15 minutes. 

For the Batter:
1c flour
1t garlic salt
1/2tsp cayenne pepper or arbol chile ground
1c beer preferably dark or milk at room temperature

Creamy Salsa:
1/3c mayonnaise
1/3c ketchup
1/3c plain yogurt

Other Ingredients:
1lb red snapper or sea bass fillet
1t fresh lime juice
1/2tsp. garlic salt
1/4tsp. ground arbol chile or cayenne pepper
Canola oil for deep frying.
8-10 corn tortillas
Finely shredded cabbage, and the salsa fresca
8 lime quarters and bottled hot pepper sauce for serving.
(makes 8-10 tacos or 5 servings)

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Gazpacho soup today is basically known as a chilled tomato soup,but it is started out as traditional peasant soup from Portugal and Spain where it was a simple bread soup or stew, and back then it was all about the bread and not the tomatoes and peppers. Skipping the bread is actually not a bad thing if you are watching your weight,because the soup itself has tons of lovely vegetables it. So the choice is yours although I feel that the addition of the bread really makes the soup.
The recipe is basic and very easy to make and another lovely addition to any summer meal or BBQ. It needs to be chilled and I like to chill the plates also, but another thing this recipe has going for it , besides the flavour, is that you can make it a day ahead which all helps in marinating all the flavours together.


  1. 8 medium ripe Roma tomatoes

  2. 1 green bell pepper seeded

  3. 1 red bell pepper seeded

  4. 1 slice of day old bread

  5. 1 cucumber

  6. 1 med. onion

  7. 2 cloves garlic 

  8. 1/4 cup olive oil

  9. 2 T. red wine vinegar

  10. 1/2 tsp. dill weed

  11. 1/2 tsp.celery salt

  12. salt/pepper

  13. Dash of Worcestershire sauce

  14. dash of tobacco sauce(optional)
(If soup is too thick for your taste you can add some tomato or vegetable juice or a vegetable broth to make it a consistency that you prefer, should it be too liquidy you can add more bread or some tomato paste to thicken it.)

1.Roughly chop all vegetables
2.mince garlic
3.Tear bread into chunks
4.Add every ingredient to food processor and puree.
5.Do not over process , you may want to do this in batches.
6.Fresh herbs such as Parsley and cilantro make a nice addition.
7.Can be garnished with avocado slices or a large shrimp.

Chill and serve ( makes 8 generous servings)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Apricots were in abundance at our local grocery store and to be quite honest it is the only stone fruit that we rarely eat. I couldn't really tell you why, probably because I find then too sweet and prefer to wait for the local peaches and nectarines to come in season. However, when I saw these delectable little jewels I couldn't resist picking some up and trying the recipe that was featured in our LCBO magazine.
The apricots were tart and very fragrant and are truly lovely combined with an almond based cake,making a perfect ending to an early summer meal.

  1. 175 ml unsalted butter, divided

  2. 125ml light brown sugar

  3. 500g apricots, quartered

  4. 200g almond paste

  5. 125ml sugar

  6. 4 lg eggs

  7. 2ml grated lemon rind

  8. 125ml flour

  9. 2 ml baking powder

  10. 1ml salt
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9" cake pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
Place 50ml butter in a small pot over medium low heat.  Add brown sugar and stir until sugar is melted.  Spread sugar mixture in a thin layer on the bottom of cake pan.  
Lay apricot in a decorative pattern over top of mixture.
Combine almond paste and remaining 125ml of butter in a bowl and beat until mixture is completely smooth.
Add sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy.  
Add eggs 1 at a time. 
Add lemon rind and stir to combine.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt, stir with a fork to combine. 
 Add flour mixture to almond mixture and beat just until flour is absorbed.  Scrape batter over apricot, use spatula to smooth top.  
Bake for 1 hour or until top is deeply browned and caramel is bubbling up around sides of the pan.
Allow to cool for 10 mins
 Run the edge of a knife around the inside of the pan to loosen cake then invert onto a rack to cool or onto a serving plate if serving warm.
Serves 8. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day Sour Cream Pancake Breakfast

Yes, the "Man", always deserves a great breakfast, so how to make this one a little special was the question of the day. I am always on the lookout for a good pancake recipe but alas, Father's Day crept up on me this year and I didn't have time to peruse my endless growing library of cookbooks.
Maybe a nice buttermilk pancake?? but nope I didn't have any buttermilk
in the fridge, then I remembered an Ina Garten Sour Cream Pancake recipe, but much to my horror, I didn't even have sour cream in the fridge.Which is usually a staple in my house, but earlier this week a trip to the market had me buying the new first crop of delicious beets in a myriad of colors. So after making a pot of Borscht with the red ones, i saw that the kids depleted the sour cream as they used it in the soup every time they heated up a bowl, no problem because....
The good news was that I has some plain organic yogurt so I substituted that for the sour cream.

The "Man", is not a big fruit eater, an occasional orange, nectarine or banana if I really make a fuss. He will eat blueberries , so in went the blueberries in his pancakes.

The other men in this house like their pancakes plain. But this recipe easily lends itself to adding some diced or mashed bananas to the batter
a very yummy addition to any pancake batter. The recipe is your standard pancake batter so I'll just include the ingredients and for go the directions as everybody knows to just incorporate the wet with the dry and then prepare in your griddle or pan following the manufactures direction.
Along with the breakfast, the "Man" is being treated to a game of golf with his brother-in-law as the sons unfortunately had to work today, but we'll all get together for a big family supper this evening, which my sister is preparing and hosting... BONUS!!
To all the Dads out there have a great day ~ Relax and Enjoy!
1-1/2 c flour
3 Tablespoon sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c sour cream (i used yogurt)
3/4 c milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla
Makes a good 10-12 medium sized extra high and fluffy pancakes.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


At our house, waffles are definitely a week-end treat, which in a way is too bad, because they really are not hard to make or very time consuming and if I say so myself ,they are very light and fluffy due to the whipped egg whites.
Lemon and blueberry are a great flavour pairing, although, I must say that I also enjoy a blueberry, orange pairing , either or would work lovely here, so use whatever you have on hand. Try adding some basil to the blueberry sauce for some extra KICK!

  1. 1 3/4 cup sifted all purpose flour
  2. 2 t. baking powder
  3. 1/2 t. baking soda
  4. 1/4 t. salt
  5. grated zest of 1 lemon
  6. 1 3/4 2% milk (room temp)
  7. 1/4 cup melted butter
  8. 3 eggs seperated (at room temp)
  9. 2 t. icing sugar


  1. 2 cups wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  2. 1/3 cup maple syrup
  3. 1 T. lemon juice
  4. 1 T. chopped basil (optional)


  1. Sift together first 4 ingredients and then stir in the lemon zest. In a smaller bowl whisk together milk, egg yolks and butter until smooth. Make a well in the dry ingredients and gradually stir in wet until just combined. DO NOT to stir. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat waffle iron.
  3. In a dry bowl whisk egg whites until fluffy. Gradually add icing sugar while beating until soft peaks form. Fold gently into waffle batter.
  4. Ladle batter into waffle iron and cook as per machines instructions.


  1. Combine blueberries, maple syrup and lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat, mashing blueberries slightly, until reduced and slightly thickened about 5 mins. Remove and cool stir in basil and serve over waffles. (makes 6 servings)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

BBQ Season is here!

Thanks to Blogger Aid-Changing the FACE of Famine's project View & Review, I was selected to sample and write a review on new products from Loblaw's Presidents Choice Biggest BBQ Event and Tour. For more information on their Great BBQ Event go their website and check their schedule to see when they will be touring your area and don't forget to enter the contest. But back to the surprise box that arrived last week.

How great it was to open the box and pull out this beautiful Presidents Choice cooler containing all new must try Presidents Choice BBQ products, and...

this luscious red apron!!

Here are a few of the items that were inside the cooler to help me get ready for BBQ season. PC Slider Thin Mini Burger Buns, PC New World EVOO, PC 100% Sparkling Fruit Juice, New PC Glaze With Balsamic Vinegar Of Modena, PC Maple Bacon Marinade, PC Grilling & Roasting Seasoning Grinder, PC Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies, andtheir new must try PC Thick Cut Ballpark Hot Dog Rippled Potato Chips. Attached to the package of buns was a $10 PC Gift Card to try the new PC Angus Sliders and a tub of the new PC Ice Cream Shop Flavours Ice Cream.

Supper that evening was a no brainer as I knew that I would be drizzling those new PC Slider Thin Mini Burger Buns with the new PC New World EVOO from Chile. In 2006 Chile beat Italy for the prestigious Sol D'Oro Prize for the World's Best Olive Oil. This EVOO originates from the same award-winning region, where olive groves have been cultivated for more than 400 years. The slider buns split apart easily and heated up nicely on the grill and were the perfect size for the Angus meat patty.

The new Grilling & Roasting Seasoning grinder with Sea Salt had the right amount of punch needed to spice up the burgers. It was a great addition to the BBQ cooler from Loblaw's.

Would you believe a chip that tastes like a hot dog? Well, believe it! The new must try PC bag of Thick Cut Ballpark Hot Dog Rippled Potato Chips tasted exactly like a hot dog from the stadium and was a great addition to the slider meal.

The cooler bag also contained various glazes and marinades. The Balsamic Vinegar Glaze conveniently comes in an upside down bottle and its thick glaze is great over grilled vegetables.

The next morning I decided to use the Maple Bacon Marinade for our pork chop dinner. The lovely flavors of the Maple Bacon Marinade would also be an excellent marinade for chicken.

By evening time the heavens opened and the rain came down but that didn't deter us from BBQing our delicious pork chops with the Maple Bacon Marinade.

A lovely addition to the meal was the 100% Sparkling Orange and Tangerine Fruit Juice over a glass filled with ice which was both refreshing and very tasty.

Last but not least, the cooler bag had a $10 PC Gift Card with which to purchase the Angus Sliders and thenew PC Ice Cream Shop Flavor Ice Cream that would go great between the yummy PC Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies. Wouldn't the ice cream and cookies make for a great ending to a great BBQ meal?

One of the great things about Presidents Choice is that along with their new great food products, as a company they are also involved in many charities in particular the Breakfast For Learning which provides nutrition programs to children of all ages across the country. Once again a huge thank you to Loblaw's Presidents Choice and their partners, and also to Blogger Aid-Changing the Face of Famine.Do take a minute to check out the wonderful food bloggers from around the world at the Blogger Aid link.