Friday, 24 February 2017


These soft tiny tidbits have been a staple in my Italian family home at Christmas time since my childhood. Dotted with raisins, a comforting scent of yeast and rolled in sugar that melts in your mouth when you bite them.
Over the years I have taken my mother's recipe and hacked it, making it accessible any time of the year and with many different fillings, including savoury.
This recipe is light and delicate and made in minutes!
Who can resist a fruit filling?
 These delicate Beignets filled with fresh peaches, so accessible in Winter because they are imported from Chile.
Chilean peaches are much larger than our local peaches and you don't have to wait for summer to use them!
This easy sweet dough can be made just minutes before your friends or guests arrive  and even teens can give a helping hand dropping the dough into the hot oil or rolling in the cinnamon sugar.
The fresh Chilean peach cooks in the dough and becomes succulent and juicy.
Who could resist 2nd's or even 3rd's?
An easy and tasty addition to your Sunday Brunch


Here's what you'll need:

2 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 vanilla bean scraped
5 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp each nutmeg, cardamom, cloves
2 - 2 1/2 cup plant milk or milk
1 lg egg
Zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup oil + more for frying
1 cup peeled, 1/2"diced Chile Peaches
Dusting Sugar:
2-3 cup icing sugar + 1/2 tsp cinnamon
In a bowl whisk egg, oil and 2 cups of milk.

Sift the dry ingredients over the liquids. Fold until almost all of the flour is mixed.
If the dough is too thick add the rest of the milk.

Tip in dry peaches and fold gently.
Allow the mixture to sit for 15 min. to relax.
At this point, begin to heat the oil on #6 or #7 of your burner or 300F-315F with a thermometer.
*you can check by adding a tiny dollop of dough to the oil, if it immediately sizzles and rises it is hot enough. If it burns it is too hot*
Drop by tbsps full or small ice cream scoop, making sure you have a piece of peach.
Fry until golden brown on both sides approx.
1 min on each side.

*Take your time shaping them small or they will not cook inside. Organic shapes are artisinal.
*Do not over fill the pot or it will cool the oil.

Turn the Zeppole over when they have bronwed on 1 side using a fork or tongs, browning on both sides.

Remove and immediately roll in dusting sugar.

 Place on a racked lined baking sheet to cool.

Allow to cool as they are very hot.

Stack them high and let everyone help themselves~

Enjoy with Love!

I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Fruits from Chile and I am eligible to win a prize associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Peaches & Cream

 Peaches & Cream Delight

Is there ever a better reason to celebrate with friends and family than having a simple meal together?
I love Brunches they are quick easy meals that incorporate breakfast foods and lunch.

Brunch encourages people to mingle whether standing or sitting in large or small living spaces.

Generally they are informal and allow the hosts to accept help from whom ever wants to add to the menu.
Sweet and savories can be made in large or small batches to save time.

This dessert or breakfast pastry is a good way to incorporate fresh stone fruit available throughout Winter that is succulent and luscious.  People can help themselves,  making your job even easier!

This flaky fusion is delicate, and will have everyone clambering for seconds using ripe
Chilean peaches and Canadian Maple flavoured
cream cheese.
It resembles a giant Toaster Strudel and will scent your home with delightful welcoming aromas.

Readily available puff pastry makes this dessert easy for hosts or guests who want to bring a
treat for the Brunch gathering.

Look at these beautiful ripe Peaches from Chile

Well, there's a few missing my son got to them!

I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Fruits from Chile and I am eligible to win a prize associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Here's What You'll Need:

2 boxes of refrigerator defrosted puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
2-3 tbsp. coarse sugar
flour for rolling

1 brick room temp. cream cheese
1/2 cup maple spread
4 ripe Chilean Peaches, peeled, sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Roll out puff pastry squares to approx. 12"x14" rectangle between 2 pieces of lightly floured wax paper.
Cut slits through 2 of the sheets to within 2" of edges.
Refrigerate all 4 sheets until needed.

Sprinkle spices over peaches.
             Set aside.

In a stand mixer whip cream cheese and maple spread until fluffy. Set aside.

Place 1 pastry rectangle on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Spread 1/2 of the cheese filling over pastry,
2" from edge of pastry.

Top 1/2 of the peaches over filling.
Brush edges with beaten egg.

Top with 1 cut pastry rectangle and seal edges with a fork.
Brush with egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Gently manipulate the slits to open slightly.

Repeat process to make a second large pastry rectangle.

This can be frozen unbaked then popped frozen into the oven when needed or bake both for a large party

Bake on middle rack of a preheated 375F oven until golden brown approx. 45min.
Let cool for 15-20min.
Slice into desired sizes.
Yields:2 large pastry strudels

Love the oozing!
Enjoy with Love

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Tropical Chile Salsa

Tropical Chile Salsa

With Spring just around the corner why not brighten up the last stretch of Winter with a great Brunch item ~

Tropical Chile Salsa
using Peaches from Chile

It's so wonderful to see colourful flavourful foods during cold winter months as they give you a boost of energy and joy reminiscent of what is to come!
This juicy salsa is savoury and sweet.
It is great as a topping for chicken or fish,

in tortillas or tossed in salads.

You can even eat it on its own that's how flavourful this Tropical Salsa is.
The best part?
It uses fresh fruits, crispy veggies, herbs
no cooking
and is low on fat
no guilt, high in fiber
and it can be made up to 3 days in advance
getting tastier!

Colourful Chile Peaches add a juicy sweet component to this versatile salsa side.
Here what you'll need:

Tropical Salsa
3 large ripe yellow Chile peaches, peeled diced
1 cup mango, cubed
1/2 each red and green pepper cubed
1 small ripe avocado, diced
2-3 tbsp. chopped red onion
1 red tomato, diced
4" piece of diced English cucumber
1/4 cup pitted black olives
4-5 stems or chopped cilantro or mint
1/2 seeded minced jalapeno; opt
2 cup cooked quinoa; opt

Toss together all of the above ingredients.
Toss in dressing.
Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Can be made up to 3 days in advance

4 tbsp. EVOO
2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp orange blossom honey if available
pinch of salt & pepper

Whisk ingredients together
Pour over Salsa

Enjoy with love~

This recipe I am entering is for a recipe contest sponsored by Fruits from Chile and I am eligible to win a prize associated with the contest.

Friday, 2 December 2016

 Seafood Salad

 With the Holidays so close by I feel I must share this Italian Seafood Salad with my dear readers.

Although this can be enjoyed any time of the year~
This delicate salad is usually made specifically as an appetizer during special occasions.

Generally my mom makes it on Christmas Eve when Roman Catholics observe the "no meat" guidelines.

I can't wait for Christmas Eve to enjoy all of my mom's delicious Seafood dishes.

Tasty, low in fat and can be made even up to a month in advance if, it is fully submerged in vegetable oil to prevent spoilage, similar to quick preservation methods.

I like to make large batches, enjoying "dipping" into it when I want, to top my salads or just on its own, before it is used for my special occasion.

Here's what you'll need:

Seafood Salad

1 kg of frozen calamari rings
700 g frozen shrimp*
2 ribs of celery or fennel, washed, diced
1 carrot, peeled, diced
1 cup parsley with stems, finely chopped
2 green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp pepper flakes
2 cups white vinegar
1 tsp each salt & pepper
vegetable oil or EVOO

Chop all of the vegetables and herbs.

In a large saucepot of 4-5 cups water add vinegar and bring to a boil

Drop in seafood.
Bring back to a boil and then cook for 2 min.
Taste it to see if you like the chew texture.
Al dente.

Do not overcook or calamari will get rubbery

Run under cold water to stop the cooking

Place all of the ingredients into a large bowl and toss together.

Add approximately 1/4 cup of oil, toss.
Adjust the seasonings if needed.

Pack into a non-reactive container.
If you are using it within 2-3 days use EVOO, cover and refrigerate.

~If you are storing for a longer period.
Pack tightly into a glass jar, cover completely with vegetable oil submerging the seafood by 2" of oil at the top level. Seal the jar with a tight lid.~
Refrigerate until consumed; 2-3 weeks only.
Serving Suggestion: Drain oil

*I did not use shrimp at this time but,
I usually do...this is a small batch for me*

*If you "dip" into it...use clean utensils and submerge in oil again, topping with more oil if necessary*

Enjoy with love!

Friday, 18 November 2016

Rosemary Lentil & Lamb Shank Stew

My family loves Lamb and I love slow cooking during the colder months.
How easy is it to braise food in the oven?
It enables me to walk away while food lovingly cooks on low heat, tenderizing and melding all of my tasty ingredients together.
I have never made Lamb shanks and wanted to try this under appreciated cut of Lamb for quite a while.
We tend to stick to what we are familiar with when cooking and that can become monotonous and uninspirational.
As a conscientious consumer, I am trying to use all parts of the animal as a growing movement to get back to basics and emulate what farmers have been doing for centuries, using a farm to table mentality that reduces our Carbon Footprint. Essentially, not wasting any part of an animal that has been sacrificed for our consumption. 
Lesser known cuts of meat are less costly and just as delicious which, fits perfectly with me since I always try to reduce costs when feeding a largish family.
I have decided to add Canadian Lentils to my dish.
Lentils are full of fiber and protein.
They absorb whatever flavours and spices you add to the dish and are very inexpensive.

This enables me to,
feed my hungry family and s t r e t c h the budget,
giving me a 1 pot meal with a side!
The slow cooking of this meal made these lentils so creamy and the Shanks so tender!
It was quite unexpected since I have never prepared them this way.

I served this for guests and family and all were taken aback at how delicious this rustic meal was.

The  New Zealand Lamb shanks which were so
small to start with plumped up, became fork tender and really were a large portion!

This dish is definitely going to be a Cold month Show Stopping dish added to my repertoire of meals.

You'll Need:
2 pkgs or 8 New Zealand Lamb shanks
1 large onion
2 tbsp. EVOO
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into coins
1 celery stalk, cleaned and chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary
1 tsp each salt and pepper
1/4 cup Merlot or full bodied wine
2-3 bay leaves

2 cup green lentils, picked through

Cover the lentils with water, bring to a boil.
Cook on med. high heat for 10 min. Drain

Preheat the oven to 350F
In a saucepan, brown all of the shanks in the oil.
Place into large Dutch Oven or Casserole dish.

Sauté the onions, celery, peppers and carrots for

1 min. add to the casserole.

Add precooked lentils to the casserole

Add wine to pan

reduce for 1 min. pour over casserole dish

Add 2-3 cups of water
Add remaining spices and herbs.
Cover and cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hrs until
Lamb shanks are fork tender.
No need to uncover and peak when cooking unless
you need to add more liquid.

Enjoy with Love~


Wednesday, 9 November 2016

After a long needed Summer Hiatus I am back
writing, developing recipes and snapping
colourful pictures of my food!

With the weather changing we tend to think about comfort foods to warm our body and soul.
I like to change the preparation as well but, try to keep my meals still light in calories but, not light in taste.
Here is a simple but delicious way to utilize the ever so perfect and pretty

Brussel Sprout

 Brussel Sprouts are under used but,
they pack a nutritious punch and prepared well, they add a wonderful side or lunch to any meal.
I hope this recipe will inspire you to add this to your valued veggie list

Let's get started~

Apple and Brussel Sprout Medley
You'll need:

1 or 2 bunches of Brussel Sprouts
2 Gala apples cored, diced
1 bunch of broccoli, florets separated
1/2 cauliflower, florets separated
1 leek, sliced into coins and washed,
light green and white stalk only
3-4 tbsp. EVOO
4 stems of parsley
1/2 tsp each salt, pepper, caraway seeds

First things first.
Slice off the browned end of the sprouts.
Cut in half lengthwise.
Lightly cover in water and bring to a boil.
After 2-3 min. add the broccoli and cauliflower .
Cook until almost fork tender.

In the same saucepan,
add the oil and sauté the leeks,
2-3 min on med. high
Toss in the remaining ingredients, reserving the apples

 Cook together, tossing to cook 5-6 min.
on med. high heat
Toss in the apples when the veggies are almost cooked. Sauté to soften the apple 1-2 min more.
Adjust the seasoning if needed.
Garnish with extra parsley

Enjoy with love!

*these Brussel Sprouts were supplied by #halfyourplate
But the recipe and opinion are mine own

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Mediterranean Lamb Stew

This rich and delicious hearty Lamb Stew
is a slow cooked meal that falls off the bone
because of how tender it is.
This meal adds a new twist to Sunday cooked meals at home with the family.
Because leg and shoulder cuts are tough
require slow cooking,
cuts are far more economical for the budget.
But, they cuts are so tender when cooked and the bone adds soooo much flavor to the dish.

Mediterranean Lamb Stew
Here's what you'll need:

1 tbsp. EVOO
3-4 lbs of shoulder or leg chops
1 1/2 cup pureed stewed tomato
1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp each oregano, salt, pepper
1/4 tsp chili flakes
3-4 chopped stems of flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup white or red wine

Preheat a large skillet on med. high heat.
Add the oil.
Place each rinsed and patted dry chop into the pan.
Do not over crowd.
Brown on all sides

Add wine and reduce turning the meat over.
I had too much for this pan so I transferred the meat to a large pot.

Add tomato puree, paste and the herbs and spices.

Stir to coat.
Add 1 cup of water

Cover leaving lid slightly ajar.
Simmer on low, checking for liquids every half hour until tender approx. 2 hrs.

Enjoy with love