About Me

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lemon Asparagus Tart

Perfect for Brunch or Potluck!

I entered this dish in the Philadelphia Cream Cheese contest...they requested it via video!  HOW embarrassing!  We didn't know how to make it into one complete video. It is only 3 minutes long...but cut into 4 sections. Sorry!

Part 1

Adega- #1 Restaurant in Toronto - Tripadvisor

We are off to the city Saturday night, so we have to dine well.  We have never been to this restaurant, but it sounds intriguing...we have reservations made!

Adega Restaurant- Toronto

A Portuguese Restaurant- with meals that are predominately influenced by the flavours of Portugal and Spain.

aka: Lots of fresh seafood and fish!

Should be fun. I will write my little review when we get back.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Marshall's Pfeffernusse German Cookies


1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
8 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp finely chopped orange zest
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350C. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper ( the most difficult part for him!)
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and pepper.
3. In a large bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar- mix at medium speed until well blended.
4. Add the honey, egg yolk, and zest.  Mix until well blended.
5. With an ice cream scoop, place balls of dough on the cookie sheet, press lightly to flatten slightly.
6. Bake until the edges are light brown, about 14 minutes. Remove from oven and sift confectioners sugar on top of cooled cookies.

Perfect served with tea, OR with Port for the adults...

one we bought on our travels... great Port.

Courtesy of the " Around the World Kids Cookbook"

Marshall's Jerk Chicken with Mango Salsa

My kids love to cook- This is one of Marshall's specialties that he cooked for us last night.

Jerk Chicken with Mango Salsa

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground Cayenne
4 boneless , skinless chicken breads or thighs ( we prefer thighs)

Mango Salsa:
1 large  peeled Mango cut into small pieces
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp minced jalapeno
1 Tbsp limee juice
salt and pepper

1. In medium bowl mix together oil, sugar, salt cinnamon, thyme, allspice and cayenne. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Arrange the chicken on the prepared  broiler pan. Scrape any remaining spices from the bowl and put on chicken.

2. Broil 6 minutes on high.  Turn chicken over and broil until browned. About 5-7 minutes. Serve hot with Mango Salsa on top.


He was taking ALL of the credit....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Simple Seafood Grill

It was a beautiful day, so we changed dinner plans to a Seafood Grill...  I picked up some Trout, 2 different varieties, some mussels, oysters, crusty bread, and vegetables.  ( Always ask at the fish counter---" Where is this < fish,seafood product> from and when did you receive it?)  Never buy anything that isn't local or fresh.

Because everything was fresh, I wanted to keep the meal simple.  Easy as well!

So I did tinfoil packs for it all. I was able to package them all up, store them in the fridge...enjoy some oysters and wine...then a quick grill. No pots, no fuss, no last minute sauces.

Here is what I did.


1 lb of mussels, cleaned, de-bearded. Discard any that do no close.
1/2 chopped white onion ( you will use it all, but in a different recipe)
1/2 chopped tomato ( again---will use the other half in the fish)
splash of white wine
4 clove minced garlic
4 tbsp butter
4 slices of lemon
fresh coriander

tips on mussels- keep the one on the left- discard the one on the right. ( prior to cooking)

1. Place 4 large squares of tin foil on the counter.  Divide the mussels up evenly on all. 
2. Add minced garlic, tomato, onion. lemon and butter to each package. Splash each one with wine and then seal them up well to make little packages for the grill.
3. Store in fridge until ready to grill.

Stuffed  Rainbow Trout

1 fresh whole rainbow trout- gutted.
slices of lemon
sliced tomato
sprigs of fresh coriander
salt and pepper to taste

1. Stuff the fish with the above ingredients.  Wrap in tin foil.

Fillet of Trout

Place Fillet- Skin down on tin foil.
season with fresh dill weed
chopped onion and red pepper
1 tsp butter
salt and pepper

Potato and Veggie Packets

3 medium potatoes - microwaved until soft, then sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
chopped onion
sliced zucchini
sliced red pepper
sprigs of thyme
salt and pepper

1. Assemble together in another tin foil package. Seal. Grill when ready.

And well, Asparagus is in season, so throw some spears in another packet. I just used lemon, sea salt and a splash of wine for this one. Warning: These don't take long on the BBQ. cook last. We over-cooked them.

Ok, so you have all of your packages ready to grill.....in the fridge staying cool...so what should you do now?

shuck some oysters and suck them back....gracefully of course! 

 and put some crusty bread and Aged Beemster Cheese- (from the Netherlands- Aged a minimum of 18 months-- on the table...  if you haven't tried this cheese...you must!  Just like candy!) On sale at ZEHRS this week too! $9.99

Alan paired the wine

Start grilling over medium heat.  Put on grill in the following order...
1. The Stuffed Trout- takes the longest
2. Potatoes
3. Trout Fillet
4. Mussels
5. Asparagus

Open up the packages to make sure the fish is flaky, the mussels have opened, and place all of the food on a platter

( Alan de-boned the stuffed trout before I could take a picture, so it is kind of a mess, not the most attractive looking meal, but it was very good) NO POTS, easy clean-up! YAY!

Discard any mussels that aren't OPEN..( I was lucky..all of mine opened) Place them in a bowl with all the yummy juices, so you can dip your crusty bread in there...

 Casual, Yummy, EASY, no fuss meal.....

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The start of.. " MEATLESS MONDAYS!"

I got inspired today to try this. We have no plans on becoming Vegetarian or Vegan...but I thought it would be fun to try and find more Vegetarian alternatives...as we don't need to eat meat every day of the week. I can't say we do, but we are pretty close.

My " Meat-etarian" son is not impressed, but I am going to prove him wrong. He will enjoy the meals. He loves rice and beans...ethnic foods, and is usually open to variety.....soooo, we'll see!?  I won't have much of a problem with it, as I tend not to eat meat during the day...and only eat meat with them in the evenings.  I do love a GOOD filet Mignon though...so nope. Won't be converting. Sorry cows!

Black Bean Burritos

Make Ahead Lunch Wraps

Vegetarian Indian Coconut Curry in the Slow Cooker

7 Layer Tortilla Pie

Californian Grilled Vegetable Sandwich

just to get me started! they all look GREAT!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

How to make a sourdough starter. It's easy to make and use.

I've never gotten around to making Sour Dough breads, as I have never had a " starter" to work with. So today, I finally got around to making it. 

how to make a sourdough starter. It's easy to make and use.


Sour Cream Mushroom Soup

If you LOVE the creamy fattening version of Mushroom soup, but don't want the extra fat...try this!

1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg, freshly grated
1 lb. mushrooms, trimmed and sliced -( Use the most exotic mushrooms you can find, as they are more flavourful.)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups nonfat beef broth
1 cup fat-free sour cream
1 cup 1% skim milk
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne or dash of Tabasco sauce

garnish with parsly.

In a large heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium low heat. Add onions and saute until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add tarragon and nutmeg and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in mushrooms, cover pot and let vegetable mixture steam for about 5 minutes, until mushrooms exude their moisture.

Sprinkle flour over the vegetable mixture. Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 3 or 4 minutes. Gradually stir in beef broth, stirring and scraping any flour that may have clung to the pot. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and smooth, 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir together sour cream and milk until smooth, whisk into the mushroom mixture and return to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and cayenne or Tabasco, if desired, and serve.

Serves: 6 - Nutrition Information Per Serving:

115 calories 3 grams total fat, 1 gram fiber, 2 ww pts

Vegetarian Moroccan Stew

We were having my husband's Surgical Resident over for dinner the other night. It was last minute, I had a busy day planned and all I knew was it had to be easy to make, and Vegetarian ( she doesn't eat meat)

I called my friend Mindy...and she sent me this recipe.  I was SO impressed. Amazing dish, full of good for you stuff!  Easy to make and full of flavour.  I had to share it.  I did a little research on it, as it is also featured in " Crazy Plates" a cookbook for healthy, low fat meals.  No wonder, it is really good.   I sent the small amount of leftovers to work with her the next day...she was pretty happy about that.

Rockin Moroccan Stew


4 cups of whole un-chopped brown, small cremini mushrooms ( smallest ones you can find)
3 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 large green pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic-minced
3 cups vegetable broth
3 cups chopped cubed yams
1 can diced tomatoes- larger can
1 can of garbanzo beans/chick peas
2 cups of your favourite pasta sauce
3 tsp grated fresh ginger root
2 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp curry
3 tsp coriander
2 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
( play with the spices, add more or less if you need)

Peanut butter and cilantro ( add at the very end)

1. Saute the mushrooms in a large pot, add celery, pepper and garlic, saute until tender.
2. Add broth and remaining ingredients. ( minus peanut butter and cilantro) Cook until yams are done ( close to an hour) simmering.
3. Add 2 tbsp peanut butter and a bunch of cilantro chopped. Stir.

Can be served over rice or potatoes with fresh bread.

 Optional: I have seen a few recipes that add raisins....and a dash of lemon juice as well. That is up to you.


It's in season right now, and such a delicious vegetable that you can SO much with.

How about these?

 Filled with provolone cheese, wrapped in proscuitto, drizzled with lemon and balsamic....fasten with toothpicks. GRILL.

courtesy of tasteofBBQ.com

Asparagus Gruyere Tart
I also made this the other day...I took it to a luncheon party and served it in small squares. A huge hit. Courtesy of Martha Stewart.


Flour, for work surface

1 sheet frozen puff pastry
5 1/2 ounces (2 cups) Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 1/2 pounds medium or thick asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper


1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

2.Remove pastry shell from oven, and sprinkle with Gruyere. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Treats- My guilt free version

I LOVE these!

Too simple to make...are you ready?

Simply mix 1 large tablespoon of reduced fat peanut butter in a container of thawed fat free Cool Whip.

Put in mini-muffin pan...top with a chocolate chip. Freeze.

sounds too simple to be good, but they are delicious and satisfy my " sweet cravings"

It's GRILL time!

I love grilling and it really can help keep food fresh and healthy.  Grab all the leftover veggies in your fridge..throw them into one of these..

lighty spray with olive oil ( keep it in a spray bottle, so you don't add a lot)  Season with minced garlic and chopped onions...toss and grill.

Add some meat of your choice, and sliced potatoes.  I pre-cook my potatoes in the microwave, otherwise they take a long time to grill.  Toss the potatoes in a similar grilling wok, and serve all on one platter.

Keeping it simple.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fitness Tips for the day!

Yes, you're busy, we ALL are.... but you can still squeeze in a workout or a healthy meal between stops, phone calls and meetings. Whether it's a two-minute breathing break between meetings or a long training run with your dog, make daily fitness a priority. Keep this tip sheet handy as a reminder to think about your health every day.

Sunday--the laziest day of the week

It's easy to be lazy on the weekend, but use today for a functional training session. Play your favorite sport at the park or get in that long workout that is difficult during the hectic week. Also, take a few minutes to plan for the upcoming week. Choose which days might be best for your workouts, then schedule some exercise time and commit to it.

Monday--success day

Get a jump on your week. Set your alarm a few minutes earlier today so you can enjoy a cardio workout. This will start your day with a sense of healthy accomplishment and will get that heart pumping.

Tuesday tip

Use exercise to relieve some of that stress. A short walk outside or training session at your favorite studio can make you feel like a million dollars in just an hour.

Wednesday--health day

Hump day for most can mean health day for you. Use Wednesday as the day to eat at least 2 additional servings of fruits and vegetables. Maybe enjoy a glass of red wine with friends and family while you relax.

Thursday--I can see the finish line

You can see Friday on the horizon like the finish line of your last race. Use a good strength training session to rocket boost you into Friday. Think of a full body workout as your rocket fuel.


The weekend is the easiest time to sabotage all of the hard work you did throughout the week. Use today to prepare for the weekend by taking some extra time to stretch. Gentle breathing and some relaxing stretches will make a difference as you move into the weekend.

Saturday--play day

Remember Saturday as a kid? Well, use this day to refuel your inner child. Play some games, go for a hike or try a Zumba class. Your favorite activity is what Saturday is all about.