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.


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Stuffed Chicken Duxelles

I love mushrooms!
Duxelles is a fancy term for minced mushrooms.
I took this opportunity to stuff the sauteed mushrooms under the chicken skin, breaded this dish, popped it in the oven for a lower in cal meal!
The results were fabulously crisp, juicy and tender meat.
So easy to prepare and elegant enough for guests.
You'll need:
4 chicken breasts, deboned, skin on
2 cups finely chopped cremini mushrooms
1 chopped onion
1 1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt and pepper
2 beaten eggs + 1 tbsp water
olive oil
Saute onion, 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper, thyme, 2 tbsp oil and mushrooms for 5-8 min until golden and all moisture is evaporated.
Set aside to cool to room temp.
Whisk eggs with water. Set aside.
Loosen the skin of the chicken with your fingers.
Stuff 1/4 of the mushroom mixture under the skin.
Close the flap over.
 Place all chicken in the egg mixture and turn gently to coat.
 Place in bread mixture and turn to coat.
Pressing to adhere firmly.
 Place each piece on a greased parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake at 375F for approx 40 minutes until juices run clear.
Enjoy with love! 

Wednesday, 18 June 2014


Around the Canadian Table

Around the Canadian Table - Food Day Canada

Where can you meet and great chefs and authors, while sipping Canadian Wine, Ice Wine and be seranated to a wonderful exciting evening?

At the Food Day Canada Festival in Niagara!

August 2, 2014

Around the Canadian Table is an evening of food, wine, conversation and music where guests will enjoy a delicious taste of the season. Celebrate Food Day Canada in Niagara!


Join Us At
Jackson Triggs Niagara Estate


Celebrate Food Day Canada® with Les Marmitons Niagara while raising scholarship funds for students at Niagara College! Around the Canadian Table is an evening of food, wine, conversation and music where guests will enjoy a delicious taste of the season.


Great Cause

Net proceeds will be added to the Les Marmitons trust fund at Niagara College to provide bursaries and scholarships for students in four programs: Culinary Skills
– Chef Training; Hospitality Management – Hotel & Restaurant; Brewmaster & Brewery Operations Management; and Winery & Viticulture Technician.


Tickets for the full package including a spectacular 6-course dinner starting at 6:00 p.m. at stations through the winery are available for $175 plus tax. Guests preferring to enjoy dinner elsewhere may purchase tickets for the 8:00 p.m. amphitheatre celebration for only $75 plus tax. All tickets will include the Canadian Table Conversation, dessert, icewine and music.  Great value, and all in support of Niagara College students!

Featuring Chefs:


Jeff Stewart, Executive Chef, Around the Canadian Table

 Jeff has been on the faculty at Niagara College for ten years, and is presently the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Hospitality and Adminstration


Chef Anthony Greco

Zest Restaurant


Chef John Horne

Canoe Restaurant


Chef Anna Olson

Food Network Star, Author of 7 Baking Books


Chef Tim Mackiddie

 Estate Chef for Inniskillin Wines and Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate


Chef Andrew McLeod

 Executive Chef at Spencer's on the Waterfront



Chef Erik Peacock

Wellington Court


Chef Mark Picone

 Chef Mark Picone is the owner of Mark Picone Culinary Studio in Vineland, where he also tends one of Niagara's most treasured vineyards, and a Chef-Professor at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute.


Chef David Watt

 As chef and co-owner of both Zest Restaurant in Fonthill and The Garrison House


Kevin Breit

Guitarist extraordinaire Kevin Breit has a reputation for the quirky
and cerebral. As an in-demand session player he's recorded with the likes of Norah Jones, Roseanne Cash, and k. d. lang. As a member
of various groups of his own (Sisters Euclid, Folk Alarm) he's got well over a dozen recordings under his belt, as well as three solo outings under his own name.

In short, Breit is widely regarded as a guitarist's guitarist, the
kind who can utterly dazzle and confound while making it all
seem effortless.


Mark Lalama

Mark was born in Welland Ontario. His first formal music lessons were on the accordion from local musical nun, Sister Rita Jo.  At the age of 13, he began performing in his father's band and expanded his arsenal of keyboard instruments to include the piano, fender rhodes, wurlitzer and various organs and synthesizers.

Mark completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from York
University in Toronto, where he studied composition and performance with John Gittens, Mark Eiseman, Frank Falco and Oscar Peterson. Upon graduation, he spent years working in the Toronto live music scene which eventually led to touring and
studio work.


Anita Stewart
Writer and Author of Canada’s essential nature as a regionally diverse food nation.
Donald Ziraldo
 Is the father of Canadian Icewine, and a towering figure in Canada's wine industry. 

Craig Youdale

Executive Chef at Tete a Tete in Ottawa,  
Executive Chef at Entre Nous in Calgary and The Culinary Institute of Canada

Michael Olson

 He is a full time professor at the Canadian Wine and Food Institute at Niagara College,


 Karen Whitty
Karen and her husband Doug are the current stewards of Whitty Farms, and the owners of 13th Street

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Pistachio & Cranberry 
 Literally means twice cooked!

These tasty, crunchy cookies are from my
European heritage, made durable for traveling convenience. I still remember helping my mom making these in huge batches. Her go to recipe was almond, my favourite nut. I have changed this recipe over the years to add what ever flavours, nuts and dried fruit I have in the house.
 These cookies are still delish after weeks, because they are twice baked, if they last that long~. 
They can be made ahead and frozen as well.
Years ago travelers, farmers, town folk would need meals that would be able to last a long arduous journey by foot. These hard, rough cookies would be able to take thay task and perform well, while being a great morning 
or mid day treat.
 Necessity is the mother of all inventions!
Softened by your morning tea or coffee they easily become crumbly, soft and fragrant.
Here's What you'll need:

3 1/3 cup flour
1 lemon grated
1 cup pistachio's  chopped (unsalted)
1 cup cranberries
1 cup sugar
3 lg. eggs, beaten
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup oil
1/4 cup milk
1-2 tbsp coarse sugar

Whisk the wet ingredients together.
In a large bowl whisk the dry ingredients together.
Make a well in the center.
Pour in the wet ingredients.
Stir with a fork to combine somewhat.
Add the nuts and berries. 

Knead to form a rough ball.
Split dough in half.
Roll each piece into a log onto a lightly floured surface, to the length of your silpat/parchment
lined baking sheet.
It will be rough, don't panic~
Pat the top to flatten slightly. Shape to approx.
 3"x 16"x1"high
Place both logs on sheet.
Sprinkle with coarse sugar, press it in.
Bake in a preheated 350F for 25-30 min.

 Cool for 5-10 min
Slice with a serrated knife diagonally across or straight across for smaller cookies.
Place flat side down on the same cookie sheets.
 Place in the shut off oven for 30 min to colour and toast
Can be stored in an air tight container for 1 week
frozen up to 3 months.

Enjoy with love!