Thursday, 16 October 2014

Blueberry Cheesecake

We are in full fledge 
Nothing fills the home like warm baked treats.
I have many friends of different nationalities that don't necessarily share the same Holidays with me.
But, I was lucky enough to be invited to several friends homes over the Thanksgiving Holiday.
This Blueberry Cheesecake was one easy dessert I came up with in the last minute.
I always try to keep my pantry and freezer well stocked so I don't have to rush out to purchase plain flavoured baked goods that are loaded with empty calories and this dessert was for a small dinner party and look how wonderful it looks.
It took very few ingredients too!
 You can make this ahead and freeze it so it's ready to go!
 Here's What You'll need:
1 pkg. defrosted puff pastry
flour for rolling
1/2 pkg cream cheese, room temp.
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 container fresh washed blueberries
1 tbsp coarse sugar
 1 egg + 1 tbsp water 
Roll out the puff pastry to a 
12" x 16" rectangle, approx.
Use 2 sheets of wax paper sprinkled lightly with flour.
This is pie dough but, you get the picture right?
 As you roll peel back the sheet and flip and peel the underside. This allows the dough to spread quickly. Refrigerate until needed.

Add cheese and sugar to a bowl and whip, 
using elbow grease or a mixer.

Gently fold in the berries, set aside.
Cut 1 1/2" W x 2"L slits all along the dough.
Make sure they match on the other side.
Place filling neatly down the center.


Brush the edges with the beaten egg and water.
Fold over the ends to cover filling. 

Begin to braid the slits covering the filling.
Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Wrap with one sheet of the used wax paper.
 Refrigerate to allow the pastry to harden so it puffs well in the oven. 
A minimum of 1hr or freeze it.

Bake in a preheated hot 375F oven for 
30-45 min until golden brown on top.

Enjoy with love!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Stuffed Ham & Cheese
French Toast

Fall for me, besides bright beautiful colourful leaves brings to mind retreating inside to the comfort of my cocoon as the weather cools.

This Sammy has comfort written all over it!
I made this for a hearty lunch item but,
it really can cover any meal any time.

Breakfast, let it warm your toes
Brunch, make a head then serve warm or room temp.
Dinner? Quick and easy

Here's what you'll need;

2 slices crusty Italian bread
 1 egg
 1/4 cup 5% cream
 1 pinch of salt and pepper
 4 slices Smoked Black Forest Ham
 2 slices processed Cheddar Cheese
 1 tbsp yellow mustard
 1 tbsp butter

  Whisk the egg, cream, salt and pepper together. Set aside.
Fold the ham slices in half and place slightly over lapping on one piece of bread. 
Top with cheese slices. 
Spread mustard over the remaining slice. Sandwich the pieces together.
Cut in half.
Dip each half into the egg mixture,
pressing to absorb the liquid.
Place in a preheated skillet with the butter. 
Brown on both sides. 
Repeat other sandwich.

Enjoy with love~

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Summer Fresh
Summer Fresh

A company which has a fresh line of tasty
Has packaged convenient 1, 3oz. serving size
Hummus's with Crackers
or a
4, 3oz  pack of Hummus that you can pop into 
your child's lunch bag or your lunch!
There are a variety of flavours
Classic, Garlic and my fave
Roasted Red Pepper!
So easy to handle

Gluten and Dairy free
and Kosher

These small snacks or small meal pack a punch of:
3 g of fibre
4g of protein
only 120 calories!
0 g trans fats!

Tasty, creamy and nutritious

You can feel secure tucking these packs into your kids lunch.
Guilt free if you are packing it into your lunch!
If you don't want the crackers,
add your own flair
 of crispy veggies!

I have been given these as samples to test and blog about them.
I left them on the kitchen table after I photographed them and thank goodness I took the pictures!
They disappeared with my adult children on their way out to University! 
Each picking their favourite flavour.
My husband finished the remaining ones!

I love Hummus soooo much,
I spread it on bread as a nutritious alternative to mayonnaise.
I hope you try these as they are in grocery stores in the packaged Salad section.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014


     Harvest Peaches

It is always sad for me to see summer go...
I love the hot weather and the freedom of being out all day relaxing or entertaining.
This summer here in Toronto
was definitely short and had many mixed weather days~
Not enough hot ones for me!

One of the pleasures of fall weather for me is
Harvest time.
This year I have started the season with
taking a great trip to the Niagara region with my hubby and good friends.
We were lucky enough to hit peach season so....
I bought 2 bushels of peaches.
These are Baby Golds
a large firm peach perfect for canning.
Although this type of harvesting is not for everyone, every few years I don't mind taking a few hours and canning something my family loves to enjoy. 
When this fresh fruit is no longer available in the cold winter months, we can pop open a jar and enjoy the sweet scented fruit straight or over ice cream!
This is an arduous task and did take me 5 hrs. by myself to make! But, I recommend gathering the family to help make this task simpler and faster. 

Lets Begin:
 Wash the peaches with cold water.
Allow to drain.

 Bring to a boil a large pot of water 3/4 filled.
Drop in some peaches.
Enough to bring the water to the top.
Cook for 2 min.
Drain to a large bowl.
Cut or peel off the skin.

Cut into sections, neatly and place in sterilized mason jars.
Fill and pack the jars.
 Place desired sugar into jar.
I used 1/4 cup for a light syrup.
Fill with cooled boiled water.
Wipe top rim and place sterilized lid on.
Screw tightly.
 Place jars in a large pot.
Fill with 3/4 full of water.
Bring to a boil, cover with a cloth.
Boil for 20min.
Cool in hot water.
Allow to sit for 1 week to combine flavours.
Enjoy with love!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Ham & Bocconcini
Penne Primavera
This colourful dish represents all the bright colours of summer!
Easy to find ingredients all year round,
this dish can be made faster than take out and
is far more nutritional and satisfying.
Here's what you'll need:

1 cup diced ham
1 cup bite size bocconcini
1 head of broccoli
1/2 red pepper diced
1/2 cup black pitted olives
3 garlic cloves, smashed or sliced
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup EVOO
500g penne pasta
Parmesan cheese for garnish 

Bring a large 3/4 full pot of salted water to a boil.
When the water comes to a boil add the pasta.
Stir every few minutes so pasta does not stick.
Reduce the heat so the pasta does not boil over.
After 5 min. add the broccoli, so they cook 

together and boil for approx. another 5 min.
Drain leaving a small amount of liquid in the pot.

In a med. size preheated skillet add the oil, ham, garlic, olives and half of the parsley.

Saute for 5-8 min.
Add to the cooked pasta.
Garnish with the remaining parsley and cheese.
Enjoy with love!
The picture above is pureed pesto

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Lobster Mushroom Risotto

Have you heard of Lobster Mushrooms?
Colourful red mushrooms that taste like Lobster!
I have always loved mushrooms and these Lobster mushrooms are no exceptions.
Costly yes, but a little goes a long way.
Look at the bright results!
With just a few easy steps you have a great 
side or main elegant enough for guests or any night of the week.
 Here's How:

4 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped lobster mushrooms, dried
1 small onion, diced
2 cup arborio rice
1 cup white wine
3tbsp EVOO
salt and pepper to taste
flat leaf parsley for garnish
parmesan for garnish

Boil 1 cup of water and pour over mushrooms.
Allow to sit for 30min or up to 1 hr.
Saute onion and oil for 5 min until softened.
Add the mushrooms and saute for an another 
5 min. 
Add rice and stir to coat with oil.
Toast for 5 min.
Add wine and cook reducing to evaporate.
Begin to ladle the broth 1 cup at a time until absorbed and broth is finished.

Stirring constantly to prevent sticking.
This method allows this rice to release starches, making this creamy. 
Season to taste.
Garnish with cheese and parsley.
Enjoy with love.


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Bacon & Bourbon
Well, those of you who read my blog know that I am all about healthy low cal nutritious meals
Well today I am off the beaten path...
I love bacon!
Although I rarely eat it, 
I love the aroma,
smoky flavour,
and it's salty flavour on my tongue
this one is for all the bacon lovers..
It is a tapenade that is great served hot over toasted bread for an appetizer.
Bacon & Bourbon Tapenade/Pesto/Pate

6 slices bacon, diced
4 small onions, diced finely
1 tps rosemary dried or fresh
1 oz bourbon

In a med. sized preheated skillet saute the herbs, bacon & onions on high. When it starts to sizzle loudly turn the heat down to med. and continue to cook until the onions are transparent, 5-10min.

When it starts to sizzle again lower the element to #3 or #4 and continue to stir and caramelize. When there is no more water and the pan again sizzles loudly, another 5-10min add the bourbon and stir to combine. 
Allow it to continue to cook down.
The whole cooking process should take 1/2 hr. stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
Pack the mixture into a small ramekin and use immediately or cover and refrigerate to harden.
Reheating when needed

Spread on toast or use as a condiment on sandwiches.