Monday, 31 December 2012

Turkey Pot Pie Soup
I just love soup!
It nourishes the tummy and the soul
It's a great start to any meal or it can be a light meal in itself.
I love this time of the year because I can only make this soup once or twice a year. 
I buy a huge turkey just so that I can make different meals with the leftovers.
This is my turkey vegetable soup that I make and invite my friends over to eat after the Holidays spent with the family.
Experiment and try any variety of vegetables that you like~
1 cooked turkey carcass, most of the meat removed
2-3 cups tomato juice
3 cups boiled cabbage*(I like to boil my cabbage separately so that is makes digestion easier)*
2 carrots, peeled, diced
1 celery rib, cleaned, diced
1 large onion, peeled, diced
1 bag of Cooking Greens Designer Blend
1/2 cup each lentils and chick peas, precooked and drained
1 potato, peeled, diced
1/2 cup rinsed rice
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp rosemary, dried or fresh
1 zucchini
salt & pepper to taste
Place the turkey carcass into a large stockpot, add juice and fill with water to 3/4 full. Place on high and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a strong simmer #7.  Skim any foam that rises to the top.
As the broth continues to cook on low prepare all the vegetables by chopping and setting aside. Allow the broth to cook for 1 1/2hrs.
Remove the carcass onto a baking sheet and allow to cool. When cooled carefully pick off the softened meat and place back into the pot, discard the bones.
To the pot, add all of the remaining ingredients except the zucchini and cook on med. low for another hour until all vegetables and legumes are completely softened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue skimming soup when needed. 
Add the zucchini and cook for another 1/2hr. 
*If the soup reduces too much add more water and continue to cook
Thinly slice the baguette and toast the slices, 1 to 2 pieces per person. Toast until crisp, place on bottom of dish and ladle the soup ontop of the crisps to soften.
*I like to cook my cabbage and legumes first as this allows for easier digestion. If you do not have digestive problems cut fresh cabbage and cook inside the soup*
Enjoy with love.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Cucumber Boats
Smoked Salmon & Garlic Cream Cheese
A quick and easy appetiser to make for
New Years Eve!
Delicious, inexpensive and impressive
you will be the hit of the party with this platter
With a melon baller scoop, hollow out the center of 2" cut english cucumber pieces. Do not go through to the end.
Fill with teaspoon fulls of your favourite cream cheese flavour.  Mine happens to be garlic.
Top with cut pieces of smoked salmon.
Cutting small pieces allows your to s t r e t c h the budget!
Sit back and watch your guests reaction.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Ricotta & Veggie Torte
Ricotta & Veggie Torte
Friday's in my house is the "crazy" day of the week. Some of us are home some are not and some are eating and leaving for other interests.
Well this is how my creation came about on this particular night.  I was in the mood for pizza, an easy meal but, with the holidays around the corner I wanted something light, easy and nutritious with lower calories.
Generally my pizza is full of veggies and only my daughter and I eat that "type" of pizza
This looked so intriguing that even the "men" in the household had some...some on that night and some the next day and some on the run......
This pizza dough is homemade but given that I don't measure when I cook, so I can't give you the exact measurements... I have given you an option to buy your own pizza dough
1 pizza dough, raw
1 bag Designer Mix Cookin Greens
300ml tub ricotta
3 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp pureed garlic
1 tsp sesame seeds
extra virgin olive oil
flour for dusting
salt & pepper to taste
In a preheated skillet add 1tbsp EVOO and garlic.  Sauté until garlic is fragrant. Do not let it brown.  Add frozen pkg of greens and using a wooden spoon begin to cook and stir vegetables, regularly.  Add salt & pepper to taste. When the water has evaporated and you begin to hear a sizzle on the bottom turn off heat, 8-10 min. Remove from burner and allow to come to room temperature.
While vegetables cook prepare dough and baking sheet.
Dust the pizza dough with flour and begin to stretch into a round shape to 12"-14" circle. Place on greased round baking sheet. Let it rest.
Season ricotta with pepper and parmesan, adjust for salt. Set aside.
Spread 3/4 of the cheese mixture onto the pizza dough to within 4" from edge.
Add vegetables and distribute evenly covering the cheese mixture and leaving a 4" rim. 
Taking the outer edge of pizza dough begin to overlap it every 3"-4" onto the outer edge of the vegetables into a free form torte. The more rustic the better.  Dot the top with the remaining ricotta
Brush the edges of the torte with EVOO and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Sprinkle the cheddar on top of the dough and vegetables decoratively.
Bake in a preheat 425F until golden brown.  30-40min.
Enjoy with love!

Monday, 17 December 2012

 Stuffed Shells w Ricotta & Oyster Mushrooms
The Holiday Season is upon us and wow has it has arrived quicker than we expected. Parties and festivities with all of our loved ones come and go so quickly.  I feel we put so much effort into all the "little things" and it's over so quickly!
This dish is a show stopper, sure to impress your friends and family, that they will be talking about it for months afterwards.
Well this looks expensive but, it is very economical and easy. As a First Course (Primi) it is restaurant worthy and looks like you slaved all day over it! No on needs to know!
With the help of a few items easily available at your grocery store you can serve this too at your next elegant Holiday sit down meal or any day of the week!
1 box jumbo shells (near the lasagna sheets)

1 400 g pkg ricotta

1/2 cup chopped parsley

2 cup chopped oyster mushrooms (button can be substituted)

1 cup frozen green peas

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 cup cream cheese (herb, garlic or onion flavour)

1 green onion chopped

extra virgin olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

1 1/2 cup prepared meat tomato sauce


Bring a large  3/4 full of water  sauce pot to boil.  Add 1 tbsp to the water.  Tip box of jumbo shells into water and stir so pasta does not stick.   Bring to a boil again and reduce to #7, leaving uncovered, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to bottom.

Meanwhile in a small pan sauté 2 tbsp oil with garlic until fragrant, approx 1 min.  Add onion, mushrooms and cook on med. heat until softened and begin to release liquids. Stir occasionally and season with salt & pepper.
When natural liquids have evaporated add green onion and peas and cook for another min. Remove from burner to cool slightly.


In a med bowl add ricotta, cream cheese, parsley and season to taste.  Add cooled vegetables and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning.

Cook jumbo shells until al dente as they will continue to soften when baked.   Drain in colander.

Cover the bottom of a large casserole dish with some sauce to prevent sticking.  Fill each shell with a large tbsp of filling.  Place in casserole dish, fitting tightly.

Continue until pasta and filling are finished.

Evenly pour remaining sauce over shells, cover with foil tightly and place in center of 350F oven to bake for 1hr.

Check every 1/2hr to see if there is enough liquid, add more wine, sauce, broth or water if it evaporates too quickly.

Remove from oven and allow to rest covered up to 20min to settle.
*Serving Suggestion: Serve with additional sauce and grated cheese*

Enjoy with love.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
Burnt Caramel
Do we really need a special occasion to eat Chocolate? Any occasion is the right time for chocolate. It is the one ingredient that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. You can sit back and enjoy the oohs and aahs from your family and friends!
This is a dense and creamy cheesecake with chocolate cookies, dark chocolate and cocoa to add intensity. Topped with the gooey goodness of  burnt caramel on top!
2 pkgs. brick cream cheese, room temperature
500 ml sour cream
2 tbsp flour
1/3 cup + 3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp instant coffee
1/2cup chopped  50% dark chocolate, melted
2 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 lg eggs
2 sleeves, crushed Oreo cookies
3-4 tbsp melted shortening
Caramel Topping:
1/4 cup dolce de leche condensed milk
1/4 cup caramel topping
Place a small ovenproof container 3/4 filled with water into the oven and preheat the oven to 325F. *This is a bain marie and will prevent cracks on the top of the cheesecake*
In a mixer beat cheese, sour cream, vanilla and sugar together until the cheese is thoroughly smooth and free of lumps for approx. 2min.
Add coffee, cocoa, melted chocolate, flour and continue mixing until no streaks remain.
Drop in eggs and beat only until combined. Over beating eggs will allow cheesecake to rise and crack when it settles.
*chop chocolate and melt in the microwave for 1min on high. Remove and stir until melted. If it does not completely melt reheat for another 30sec. depending on you microwave power*
Crust: Chop cookies in a food processor to fine crumbs and add melted shortening to combine.
*Place shortening into a ramekin and melt in microwave for 1 min. or in a small saucepot over med. heat*

Press crumbs into the bottom of an 8" or 9" springform pan with the back of a spoon or bottom of a glass. *If mixture sticks, dip spoon/glass into sugar* Lined with parchment paper on bottom and sides for easy removal. *dab the bottom and sides of the parchment with residue from shortening ramekin to "stick" paper to the pan.*
Carefully pour the cheesecake mixture over the crumbs. I like to use the back of a large serving spoon to deflect the stream of the heavy mixture onto the crumbs which may move the crumbs.  Spread evenly and bang the pan to release any bubbles. Break the bubbles with a swirl of a spoon.
Place on a large enough baking sheet and bake for 60min. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5min. Unlock the springform and continue to allow to cool.  *Leave the parchment on the cheesecake while cooling. This helps it keep it's shape*
Refrigerate 1 day in advance for superior flavour. Can stay up to 3 days in refrigerator.
Caramel: In a small sauce pot blend ingredients on med high.  Stirring constantly and watching carefully, allow the mixture to slightly scorch on the bottom, creating the "burnt" smoky scent and taste. Using a spatula remove caramel to stop scorching and place in a covered bowl.
Allow to cool and refrigerate until needed. When needed, bring to room temp. and pour over centre of cheesecake. 
Enjoy with love!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Black Bottomed
Dolce De Leche

Black Bottomed Dolce de Leche Macaroons

Who doesn't like a chewy cookie?
Well Eagle Brand has a new flavour and it's
dolce de leche!
Now you don't have to make your own in the oven or stovetop, which if you have and I have
Takes hours to do!
The addition of condensed milk gives the macaroon a toothy chewiness and a rich colour.
3 cup desiccated coconut

3/4 cup dolce de leche condensed milk

1/4 tsp each salt & vanilla extract

2 lg egg whites


3 oz dark chocolate chopped, melted


In a mixer bowl with a whisk attachment, whisk eggs & salt to a stiff peak.

 Meanwhile in a med. bowl add coconut and vanilla to condensed milk and stir to incorporate.

Fold egg whites into the coconut mixture and fold to loosen the mixture.

Then add the rest of the whites to the bowl and fold gently with a spatula.

Using a spoon or small ice cream scoop, place dollops onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake in a preheat 325F oven and bake for 25 min until lightly browned.  Cool on racks completely.

Makes approx 60 small cookies.

Black Bottom:

Melt chocolate in a microwave, stirring to melt chunks.  Dip bottoms into the chocolate.  Allow excess to drip then firmly press the cookie down into the parchment lined baking sheet to allow the chocolate to squish up to the sides so that it is visible.

Allow to dry completely at room temp.

Cookies can be frozen separated by parchment/wax paper layers.

Enjoy with love!