Thursday, 26 May 2016

How to Poach & Shred Chicken the Easy Way - TIPS & TRICKS #1

To learn about the technique, watch the video on How to Poach & Shred Chicken the Easy Way.

– If you are poaching skinless boneless chicken breasts, simmer for 20-25 minutes.
– If you are poaching skinless boneless chicken breasts and cut in half, reduce your simmering time down to 15-20 minutes.
– If you are poaching chicken with skin and bone, increase your simmering time up to 30-35 minutes.


Keep in mind that time may vary depending on the size of the chicken breasts


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How to make Chipotle Purée and Chipotle Mayo - TIPS & TRICKS #2

Chipotle mayo is a great condiment that can enhance any dish. The best way to always have some on hand is to freeze it. Here’s how easy it is…

  • Pour the whole can of chipotle in adobo sauce in a blender and purée until smooth

  • By tablespoon measurement, spoon the puréed chipotle on a baking sheet

  • Transfer to the freezer for a few hours

  • When frozen, transfer to a plastic bag and keep in the freezer

When needed, take a frozen tablespoon chipotle in adobo sauce (or more as needed), place in a bowl and let it sit until it becomes soft enough to mix it. Add a tablespoon at a time of mayo (not Miracle Whip) to the soft chipotle in adobo sauce until it fits your taste. Voilà! You’ve got yourself chipotle mayo anytime you want it…Enjoy!

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Homemade Graham Crust - TIPS & TRICKS #3

To make a Graham Cracker Crust from scratch can’t be easier. What you need is…

– 1 1/2 cups Graham Cracker crumbs (look below for more info)
– 1/3 cup brown sugar
– 1 small pinch sea salt
– 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
– 7 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

FOOTNOTE: If using crackers instead of crumbs (both are available at your grocery store), it’s about 3 full graham cracker sheets for 1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs.

If you decide to refrigerate longer than one hour, cover the crust.

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How to Cut a Mango - TIPS & TRICKS #4

In this video, I show you 2 different cuts; strips and cubes.

* If you want to freeze mango, cube them and place in a Ziploc. Transfer to the freezer for up to 6 months.

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Zippy Ranch Dressing

Most people have bottles and bottles of salad dressings in their refrigerator but if you only knew how uncomplicated and easy it is to make homemade. Most salad dressings are typically used to add flavor to an otherwise bland salad. However, there is one salad dressing that can do a whole lot more than just dress up a mix of salad greens.

What salad dressing am I talking about? Yes, it’s Ranch Dressing of course…and it’s the most popular salad dressing in North America. It can be used not only for salads but as a condiment, marinade, veggie dip and the perfect companion to Chicken Wings and Drumettes.

My Zippy Ranch Dressing is a spicier version of the standard Ranch and it’s sure to fire up you next meal. By making your own homemade version, you’re the one in control of the flavor, ingredients and heat. I’m sure you’ll agree that this one just can’t be beat. Bon Appétit!

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Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Singapore Noodles

When I first moved to Windsor, I went with a friend to a little Chinese restaurant and was introduced to Singapore Noodles. Oh boy, I was hooked immediately! Every week after, I had to have this dish eat in, take out or delivered….I just had to have my fix of Singapore Noodles. I tried different locations but always went back to my favorite tiny Chinese restaurant.


 I moved to different area in Ontario and unfortunately, never found the same amazing flavor in Singapore Noodles at any location. When I got to the West Coast, one day I was talking to my partner about how wonderful this dish was and how much I missed it. He just looked at me and asked me to try duplicating this recipe. What a challenge it was! I was in Windsor almost 30 years ago and reaching deep in my memory “box” to recreate flavor and texture wasn’t an easy task.


It took me almost a month to think of it but when I got ready, I announced David (my partner) that “tonight” was the night we were having “the” Singapore Noodles. It was almost there….and after a couple attempts, I finally got this dish to “perfection” or if you prefer my Windsor Perfection!

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Thursday, 19 May 2016

Jalapeño Bacon Cheese Dip

A few times a week, I like to relax and unwind at the end of the day with a cocktail and some finger food …something to munch on while I start dinner. Besides having crudités (sliced or whole raw vegetables) in the fridge and snack on them, I like to make quick, easy and tasty dips to accompany them. As some of you already know, I love spicy, bold and flavorful character in my food!


There’s also another great aspect for making dips…they are always welcome whenever you have guests over. To me, dips and appetizers are very social. It helps break the ice among your guests and helps keep them satisfied until dinner is ready.

If you like bold, spicy and amazingly yummy, you’ll enjoy this dip! It is fast to make and you can enjoy it for any occasion. Last time I made it, I served it during the Super Bowl party and it was a “touch down”! It disappeared insanely fast…it was ridiculously good! Next time you’re not too sure about what to serve to your guests or just for your family to enjoy, give this one a try…Bon Appétit!

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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Chipotle Stuffed Bronto Burgers

Certain aromas and smells bring you back to a certain place, time or event in your life.Scents like incense help keep you calm and make you relax. Others like freshly cut grass make you think of summer, picnics and sporting events. Still other smells, like someone in the neighborhood using their BBQ, create a stimulus in your head, makes our mouth water and makes us crave a….BURGER!

I love burgers…but not just any kind of burger…I love my version of a burger! I never enjoyed going to a fast food joint for a burger because I simply prefer mine over the fast food variety. Okay, okay, I am being preferential here but to this day, the only burger I look forward to devouring with all my senses is my own.

As I mentioned in the video, the recipe I’m about to share with you started more than 25 years ago because before that, I never really found burgers that appetizing. One day, I was having a backyard party and of course everyone wanted burgers and hot dogs. I couldn’t wrap my head around these two simplistic menu items so I decided to focus on one and try to make it better. The day after, I came up with the start to this recipe…and it has been modified many times since the original version.

After watching the video and hopefully after you make one or more for yourself at home, there will be no turning back. I guarantee you will never go back to regular burgers again. Of course you can modify this recipe to your own personal taste. What I’m showing you here is a version of what you can do at home and much more. Sorry but I have to run…I’m smelling BBQ and I’m craving a Chipotle Stuffed Bronto Burger. Bon Appétit!

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Thursday, 12 May 2016

Coney Island Hot Dog

If you ask me if I like hot dogs, my initial answer would be “no”. I don’t really care for them…! But in the past it did happen that after bar hours, I stopped with my girlfriends and had an ordinary one. Would I go to the extent to have one…still “no’ unless I’m in Detroit, Michigan.

Now here’s a story. When I was living in Windsor, Ontario, we used to go out quite often to Detroit back in the 80s’. After bar closing, we just headed back to Canada. One night I was out with my dear friend Bill (I miss you man…you left us way too early), he took me to American Coney Island and my opinion about “hot dogs” totally changed that night.

Trust me, it has nothing to do with the cocktails we had that evening…! It was those delicious Coney Island Hot Dogs. Something about them sets them apart from whatever I’ve had in the past. It wasn’t a “chili” hot dog per say because there were no beans in it. It was simply a Coney Island Dog with an amazing flavorful meat sauce, topped with prepared yellow mustard and chopped white onions.

I haven’t had one since my last visit in the 80s’ and one night I was telling David about them and saying that the day we travel and visit Michigan, we have to stop to get a Coney Island Hot dog. As usual, David challenged me and the next thing you know, I recreated a version of it!

Do I have them every month…of course not because I love variety way too much! On the other hand, I appreciated having a pretty similar recipe to the original so I don’t have to spend a ridiculous amount of airfare to enjoy a Coney Island Hog Dog! If you live near the Detroit area, or you’ve visited and tried one, you’ll understand what I am talking about. Now for the rest of you, you just have to try one, they are absolutely amazing and until next time…Bon Appétit!

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Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Chickpea Corn Salad

I had chickpeas when I was a child and somehow never really enjoyed them… I couldn’t stand the texture. Therefore growing up and becoming a young lady, each time I came across this legume, I always avoided it.

I’ve always loved being active and at some point I was so involved in fitness that I started to modify my eating habits. After reading many books and researching health and fitness, I discovered that legumes were excellent for you, which somehow I kind of knew but preferred to dismiss. Of course chickpeas were on the list so to give these little guys a second chance I decided to mix them with a bunch of other preferred vegetables. This is how this salad was created.

Till this day, I’m not a big fan of legumes but I make an extra effort to incorporate them along with other healthy choices in our diet. They are packed with protein, fiber, manganese and folate. In certain cuisines such as Indian, chickpeas are very popular.

For those of you who are vegetarian or vegan, you know all about legumes and their benefits. For the rest of us, we have to learn how to incorporate more of them into our diet which is a clever move, if you ask me. Give these healthy little guys a try…you won’t regret it. Bon Appétit!

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Thursday, 5 May 2016

El Pollo Cinco de Mayo - Mexican Chicken

A few years ago, we purchased a slow cooker and although it is such a convenient little kitchen appliance, we didn’t use it as often as we should.

 Recently, I received a request from a lady I’ve met on social media. She’s a sweetie and I just love her personality. Unfortunately, she has been dealing with multiple sclerosis for over 30 years and cooking has been a challenge for her. Her request was if I had any super-easy recipes on hand that I would like to share with her. This is when my slow cooker popped into my head. As little as I used it in the past, it was time to remove the dust and cook with it again.


As I am writing this, I don’t have a vast collection of slow cooker recipes but the ones I have are amazing. My first slow cooker recipe I’ll be sharing with you is “El Pollo Cinco de Mayo” because it was inspired by Mexican ingredients and cuisine. It features chicken of course, Jalapeno pepper, Ancho and Chipotle chili powders and cilantro for a little Mexican caliente.

 I hope this recipe is easy enough for you to try and especially for my friend on social media.This is my way to celebrate Mexican Latin culture and hope you will join the celebration too. Bon Appétit!

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Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Energy Berry Bites

I love golfing, cycling, roller blading, walking and … shopping (who knew…lol). Not always but sometimes in the middle of the afternoon after exercising, I want a little something keep me going until dinner time. I’ve never really been crazy about the store-bought energy bars…they don’t taste fresh although the package mentions all the natural ingredients in it. My question is – “if it is as natural as they state, how can they sit on the shelves for weeks?”…Exactly!


What I look for in an energy snack is great ingredients that are good for me and nourish my body. I don’t need artificial sugars and flavors…I want something that Mother Nature provides us. I don’t want to feel guilty or feeling less energetic because my body tries to break down some additives or chemical ingredients.


What I am about to share with you today is my version of energy bites. This recipe is pretty much natural and if you don’t keep the energy bites in the fridge, they won’t do very well after a couple days on the counter. My “counter-shelf” life is short so I trust this is a good indication that homemade is much better than anything else on the market. You have no excuse for not making them; they take next to no time to make and taste amazing! Let’s be healthy…Bon Appétit!

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