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
salt
500g penne pasta
Parmesan cheese for garnish 

Prep:
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.

Meanwhile:
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
Tapenade
Well, those of you who read my blog know that I am all about healthy low cal nutritious meals
RIGHT?
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
So,
this one is for all the bacon lovers..
It is a tapenade that is great served hot over toasted bread for an appetizer.
Enjoy~
 
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
Prep:
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!

http://www.aroundthecanadiantable.ca/index.html

Join Us At
Jackson Triggs Niagara Estate

 http://on.jacksontriggswinery.com/Wines/Niagara-Wines/Proprietors-Selection

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.
 http://fooddaycanada.ca/

 DSC05693

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

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


 Musicians

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.


Speakers

 
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 
Biscotti
 Biscotti:
 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
or
frozen up to 3 months.

Enjoy with love!
 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014



 How do you use #Herbamare
by
A. Vogel
  A. Vogel a long standing company with deep rooted beliefs in the health industry has sent me samples yet again!
Last year around this time I was selected to test their 
Sprouting System
http://tastyd.blogspot.ca/2013/06/a_26.html
 with great enjoyment and success. 
I am still using it to make sprouts monthly!
This time I am able to test their healthy Sea Salt blends called
#Herbamare
with no MSG, Preservatives,  Additives and Certified Organic
 Zesty, Original and Sodium Free
 They're 2/3 sea salt to 1/3 organically grown vegetables ratio
makes for a nice complete seasoning addition to any foods but, 
light enough that it doesn't over power your artisinal additions.
Because I had them on my counter throughout the week, I just used them as I would my own sea salt. I found them to be very versatile and handy to have around the kitchen.
It was very convenient for me and my junior home chefs not 
to have to rely on reaching for other spices. 
This is great for when you are in a hurry too. 
When I had the time, I just added herbs to this blend if needed.
For breakfast I added it to my veggies while they cooked

The travel size is great for camping, picnics, teenage dorms etc.
Then I added it to the eggs afterwards.
The fine grind doesn't leave big salty bites like an extra pinch of regular grind does 
when you don't mix it in properly.
Here is my omelet topped with sprouts!

Salsa Chicken Meatloaf
 
Generally when I make meatloaf the boys always want beef! 
Otherwise it's just not "meatloaf"
Well, as I continue my New Years Resolution diet,
(I've lost 15lbs and counting!)
I want lighter foods. 
Fish and chicken fits my needs.
They are much lighter for cool spring days 
and faster to cook  
 

I decided to add Zesty #Herbamare to my; 

Salsa Meatloaf:
3 lbs of ground chicken
1/3 red pepper diced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 grated carrot, on large holes of grater
1 cup salsa or tomato sauce
2 lg eggs
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp Zesty Herbamare
1 green onion and 1 small yellow onion, chopped


 Blend by hand until thoroughly mixed.
Press into a loaf pan.
(This recipe makes 2 meatloaf's or 4-5 extra burgers)
 
Thickly drizzle 1/4-1/2 cup of your fave BBQ sauce on top.

Bake for 1 @ 350F covered with foil. 
Uncover and cook for another
1/2 hr.
This was so delish that the boys had seconds!
I even had leftovers for the next day lunches. 

Grilled Spicy Porkchops 
with
BBQ Asian Baby Bok Choy

Years ago I was introduced to BBQ'd pork chops.
Never had I used this cut on the Barbie.
But they cook quickly and they are succulent.
I know Chef Mario Batali loves to put greens on the Barbie, but I never have tried baby bok choy!
Well I was in for a surprise.
When placed on the grill they immediately sizzled causing everything to have a nice steam bath...
more moisture!
These usually release alot of moisture in a pan but, this way they cooked a little bit crunchy, with a nice smoky taste and the addition of the dressing.

Zesty Pork Chops


Rub:
Sprinkle lightly with any #Herbamare flavour on both sides.
add 2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp chili flakes
Allow to sit for 30min at room temp.
Place on preheated 300F BBQ grill or grill pan.
Cook for 5-7 min. on each side until caramelized.
 Place Bok Choy on hot grill
With tongs turn every 2-3 min to distribute heat.
Cook for 10 min.
 Asian Dressing:
3 tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 lemon, juiced 
Blend together and toss into bok choy.

Zesty Pickerel

I haven't had pickerel in years.
It is readily fished in our great lakes but,
I rarely see it in grocery stores.
This lovely delicate tasting firm white fish is great for the BBQ or oven baking.
Now that the weather is warming up, I love to cook fish on the Barbie.
All the aromas and fuss dissipates outside.
No pans to clean either!

This dish was the easiest to make of all of them!
I picked the Original flavoured #Herbamare and just sprinkled outside and inside the fish!
It's that easy!
I added an extra dash all over with paprika for colour and cooked on the BBQ for 15 min on each side. The skin got lovely and crisp.
I actually like to eat a bit before peeling it easily back and flaking the white fish.
Add a touch of the #Herbamare with a squeeze
of lemon for extra flavour.
This was a delicate low cal meal.

Balsamic Glazed Wings
Who doesn't like sticky wings?
My boys love wings and I love experimenting with flavours!
These easy pop in the oven wings are great for any get together or in my case a cool spring evening!

Sticky Balsamic Glazed Wings
2-3 lbs cleaned wings
*3 tbsp reduced balsamic syrup
1 tsp original #Herbamare
3 sprigs of thyme
1 tsp sriracha sauce
Place the chicken in a roasting dish.
Pour the remaining ingredients over and mix to coat thoroughly.
Place in a preheated 375F oven for 1 1/2 hrs turning every 30 min to brown nicely.
*Can be found in specialty shops. If you can't find it make your own.
reduce 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar with 1 tbsp sugar until it reaches a syrup consistancy. 

How do you use #Herbamare ?

My favourite all year and all time is dish is
Risotto
Creamy, fragrant and oh so satisfying!
Leftovers can easily be brown bagged or turned into rice balls

Cremini Mushroom Risotto
2 tbsp EVOO
1 peeled small onion, chopped
1 cup sliced, cleaned, cremini mushrooms
 2 cup arborio rice
 1/2 cup white wine
6 cup homemade chicken broth
1 tsp Herbamare
2-3 tbsp chopped parsley
Parmesan for sprinkling

In a preheated medium sauce pot add oil, mushrooms and onion. Saute for 5 min. on medium heat to soften.
Add rice, stir with a wooden spoon to coat and toast each grain.
Add wine and continue stirring, reducing the wine.
Begin to add broth 1 cup at a time cooking and stirring to reduce the liquid. Stir often so that rice does not stick to the bottom.
This should take 40-45 min depending on the rice and heat of the stove.
Add the #Herbamare, taste to adjust.
Garnish with cheese and parsley
Enjoy with love!