Thursday, 28 April 2016

Easy-Cheesy Herb Pizza Dough

Making homemade pizza dough has become more popular in the last decade and people are getting all the toys to make their own. From pizza stones, to scrapers, to imported 00 flour, to pizza ovens, this new trend gives bakers an opportunity to experiment with ingredients and showcase their creativity!

There are a lot of you out there who either don’t know how to make pizza dough or are intimidated by it. I was once the “intimidated” one but because of my curiosity or my sense of adventure, I took the chance to make it and I have to say I won’t go back to store-bought pre-made pizza crust ever again, unless I am forced to (lack of time).

Making pizza dough is pretty straight forward. The most important component of dough making is “TIME”. If you want to have awesome flavorful dough, start the day before. If time is an issue, letting your dough rise twice is pretty decent.

What I am sharing with you today is my Easy-Cheesy Herb Pizza Dough. As the title mentions, it is easy and I added cheese with herbs because I love those ingredients. Now you can adapt yours the way you want or make it plain without the cheese and herbs. Don’t expect to see in the video Frankie throwing dough up in the air…I’m too clumsy for that and very accident prone as well. I want to scrape my dough off the rolling mat not the ceiling…lol!

Don’t be afraid and really give it a shot. If you follow the directions and take your “time”, I guarantee you’ll love the results and perhaps just like me, you won’t go back to pre-made pizza crust bought from the store. I’m sure you’ll become a great pizzaiolo in no time…Bon Appétit!

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Bolognese Sauce

I love sauces and I also have a weakness for pasta. Oh boy, am I ever in trouble! Probably one of the most popular pasta sauces worldwide is Bolognese. The combination of fresh vegetables, herbs and spices along with a meat mix, makes this dish a favorite for many of us. Just the aroma floating through the air while the sauce is simmering on the stove top, makes everyone’s mouth water.

The secret to a traditional Bolognese sauce is to cook it down for hours. In this recipe, I cheat a little. I use a very high quality tomato & basil sauce in a jar and that’s the secret to save precious time when you don’t have that luxury. With our crazy schedules, juggling work, kids, social commitments plus trying to make a quick and easy meal, no one should sacrifice flavor and this sauce delivers it all. What you need is less than an hour of your time and you’ve got yourself a sauce that tastes as if it was cooking for much longer.

The taste is phenomenal for a sauce that is quickly prepared. I prefer spaghetti pasta for this sauce but choose whichever pasta you like. Sprinkle some fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese on top with fresh chopped parsley and you have something that you will go “mmm” after every bite. I really hope you will give it a try soon. Bon Appétit!

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Hawai'ian Style Teriyaki Sauce

You’ve probably tried teriyaki sauce before at your local Japanese restaurant or sushi spot. Perhaps you have a bottle in the back of your fridge and forgot about it! I bet you have never tried to make this simple and delicious sauce at home before. Why…you ask?

Sauces don’t have to be complicated and to be frank with you, most of them are so simplistic, they take next to no time to prepare. I won’t blame it on my roots but I have to admit that I looove making sauces! It’s like the cherry on top of the sundae, so many dishes required a final touch and more often than not, that means sauce!

In a previous episode, I showed you the method I use to make those awesome chicken drumettes but you cannot have drumettes (or wings) without sauce, right? Okay, I can hear some of you who say “yes”…but let’s be real, the majority of us love our favorite sauce!

What comes to mind when someone says Hawai`i? Palm trees, leis, hula dancers, waves, plumeria and birds of paradise, perfect weather and, of course…pineapple. Now you know which ingredient I’m using to make this my Hawai`ian Style Teriyaki Sauce. You can use this versatile sauce on almost anything; chicken breasts, burgers, ribs, pork chops, etc. The choice is yours so give it a try soon. Bon Appétit!

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

Baked Chicken Drumettes or Wings

When you hear chicken wings/drumettes what’s the first thing you think of? The corner pub, game night, a get together with friends, and so on…right?

I was never really a big fan of chicken wings/drumettes until I started baking them at home. Whoa! What a big difference. First, there’s barely any guilt associated with this dish because you’re not frying them, you’re baking them. Second, there’s not the huge mess of using the fryer…or the question of what to do with the used oil. Third, you can make your favorite sauce while the wings are cooking in the oven – mine are Teriyaki, Original Buffalo and Spicy Orange. Fourth, you don’t have to go out and can have better at home.

Drumettes vs Wings? This is a personal preference and as you already know, there is more meat in drumettes than there is in the flat part of the wing. Honestly, I haven’t tried it with flats yet but if you do, just be careful when cooking them as they might overcook.

Perfect for weekend get-togethers or that big game on TV, your guests will be asking for more. So make sure you have plenty on hand. Give them a try and I’m convinced you’ll be hooked in no time! Bon Appétit!

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

Sautéed Scallops with Beurre Blanc

When I want to make something special either for an occasion or just because I want to spoil myself, I always think of seafood. My absolute favorite is scallops. I love their light fruity taste and delicate texture. These mollusks are not only flavorful but also very healthy. They are packed with nutrients such as Vitamin B-12, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, magnesium and potassium, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, just to name a few of the health benefits you can get from scallops.

There are many ways to prepare scallops but because of their delicate flavor, it is important to not use ingredients that will overpower them. The method I’m using in this video is with beurre blanc (white butter). It is slightly technical but definitely not complicated. The success of making beurre blanc is to make sure the sauce doesn’t get too hot otherwise the butter will separate. The way to prevent beurre blanc from turning is lifting the saucepan as often as possible, therefore creating a decrease in temperature. I use a stick of butter (1/2 cup) that I divide in 8 pieces. I always make sure that I lift my saucepan every 2 tablespoons of butter. Also always make sure to whisk each tablespoon of butter completely in before adding another one.

As soon as you master the beurre blanc method, you will make this dish over and over again. It is so easy to prepare as well as being an elegant dish. If you really need to impress the in-laws, go with this recipe…it’s a winner…unless your mother-in-law is allergic to seafood! Oh well, you can’t win them all!

Just keep in mind one more important thing about scallops; they require next to no time to cook. Depending on the size, it might take less than 90 seconds per side but usually it is around 2 minutes per side.

The best way to serve this incredible dish is with rice and some steamed vegetables such as green beans, broccolini or asparagus. Don’t get intimidated with the beurre blanc technique, get in your kitchen and give it a try, I am sure you’ll love it. Bon Appétit!

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

Marbled Chocolate Pecan Banana Bread

Banana is good for you. It’s an excellent source of vitamin B-6, C, potassium and fiber. The two widely available varieties of banana in North America are the Cavendish and the plantain. What differentiate the two is plantains are less sweet, starchier and are eaten cooked versus Cavendish which are much sweeter and eaten raw.

Besides enjoying the Cavendish banana on their own, you can add them to smoothies, breakfast cereals, oatmeal or in muffins and banana bread.

The thing about bananas is that they ripen quite quickly. When they get soft and brown, what I do with them is put them in the freezer for future use. When I have at least four of them, it’s time to make banana bread.

As much as banana bread is yummy to eat, it is nice to take a new spin on this classic recipe. How does chocolate pecan banana bread sound to you? Delicious…right? Chocolate and banana are made for each other and the pecan is just the cherry on top of the sundae. Combine all this with an artistic marble swirl and you’ve got my Marbled Chocolate Pecan Banana Bread. Now that I got your full attention, let’s watch the video…Bon Appétit!

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

Thursday, 7 April 2016

West Coast Smoked Salmon Chowder

I enjoy going out to nice restaurants to try out new dishes, although I can be disappointed by what I order quite often. When there’s a dish I order that doesn’t really hit the mark, I don’t get upset, but actually get challenged by the experience.

It gives me the opportunity to evaluate and elevate it and try to make it better. I love to deconstruct and reconstruct a recipe, taking something good and turning it into something delicious! This really helped me build my cooking skills and added to my repertoire of recipes.

On our anniversary, David and I went to a very nice restaurant in Vancouver to Celebrate. We ordered Smoked Salmon Chowder as an appetizer and although it was good, it was still missing something in the flavor department.

As soon as I had the chance, I popped out to the store and bought the ingredients I needed, and put together my version…it turned out to be really, really good. Just incredible! Of course this is based on my own personal taste and opinion, but I’ll let you be the judge of it.

Enjoy this yummy chowder as a main course, served with crusty bread and butter. Not only will it warm your soul, but it will also put a big smile on your face… Bon Appétit

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Chicken Stuffed Crêpes with Poblano Sauce

When you think of crêpes, you probably think of breakfast/brunch or the famous dessert Crêpes Suzette and you probably haven’t thought of trying them for dinner but you should! Crêpes are a fabulous vessel for filling with almost any ingredient from fruits to vegetables to meat, sauces and condiments.

The sky is the limit of what can be made when using crêpes. Today, I’m showing you how to make a nice savory dish with chicken and cheese. Any decent crêpe should have a sauce that compliments the ingredients, and I have to admit that the star of the dish is definitely the poblano pepper sauce…

What is a poblano pepper you ask? Well, let me explain. They originate from Puebla near Mexico City. Mild green when fresh, poblano peppers are about ¼ to ½ as spicy compared with jalapeño peppers on the Scoville scale. The heat intensity can vary from one pepper to another even on the same plant. Poblanos are arguably Mexico’s favorite chili pepper considering it is called the “ancho pepper or chili ancho” when dried. Ripe poblano peppers are dark red (almost black) and their heat rises from the ripening process.

If you are looking for a pepper in between a bell pepper and a jalapeño pepper, the poblano is the perfect choice. They have an earthy, peppery flavor which gets slightly smoky when roasted. This is among one of my favorite peppers that I enjoy cooking with. Not only are they tasty but they are also high in fiber, iron and vitamin A.

This Mexican influenced savory crêpe uses chicken but feel free to replace it with turkey as I do almost every Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday to re-purpose my leftovers. Now, here’s a little warning about this dish. Some of you might find this a little “fiery”, so just use more sour cream or crema (Mexican sour cream) to help tone it down. I am convinced this will become one of your favorite Mexican go-to dishes. So don’t delay and try this one today….olé! Buen Provecho!

For ingredient amounts and much more, visit