Thursday, 30 June 2016

Key Lime Pie - the eggless version

If you live above the 49th parallel, at some point during the winter time, you feel the need to escape to a warmer destination. When I was living in Toronto, the nearest destination was Florida. As I became a snow bird, I really started appreciating American southern cuisine.

I’ve never been a big “dessert” person but once in a while, I enjoy something sweet. Going to Florida at least once a year, a dessert I really enjoyed was Key Lime Pie. I love the tartness mixed with a subtle sweetness of their regional pie but not enough to have regrets…probably because my teeth don’t start curling in my mouth from too much sweetness.


When I moved to the West Coast, Florida is a long way away and of course the closest destination, besides Palm Springs (I’m a golfer….I NEED Palm Springs) is Hawai’i. As often as I’ve been to the islands of Hawai’i, I never found a “real” Key Lime Pie to compare to the one’s I experienced in Florida.


I am a “sunshine lover” and enjoy the warmth and comfort of sunny days. B.C. can be slightly cool and rainy so to bring a taste of sunshine to my table, I love to make Key Lime Pie. There’s no need to buy a pre-made graham crust…c’mon a 5 year old could make it, so can you! The technique is pretty simple and the only thing you should worry about is to have a good citrus press or a juicer. Anything else is kiddy play. So I hope you enjoy this pie as much as I do and hope it brings some happy summer memories to your table…
Bon Appétit!

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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

BBQ Beef Shish Kebabs

Summer is here and that means flip-flops, shorts and t-shirts, dinner on the patio, and of course… barbecuing. It’s a pleasure having friends and family over for dinner and cooking on the barbecue. All this sounds perfect but do you feel that you always cook the same old food on the barbecue?

I love variety, otherwise I can get bored. Yes steaks are awesome on the barbecue as well as chicken breasts, burgers and hot dogs but there are more options beyond these basic BBQ’d food items.


In today’s video, I’ll share with you my BBQ Beef Shish Kebabs. As you may already know, shish kebabs were invented when medieval soldiers used their swords to grill meat over an open fire…makes sense, right? The original version used lamb but nothing stops us from using other proteins instead.


My BBQ Beef Shish Kebabs recipe is not complicated but the flavors are amazing! As I mention in the video, the secret to a good Shish Kebab is in the marinade. There are “zillion” of marinade recipes available out there but I know you’ll enjoy mine. So let’s take our BBQ skewers (“modern swords”) over to the fire…ahem….I mean BBQ and let’s get cooking!
Bon Appétit!

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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Perfect Poutine with Bacon Gravy

Poutine…This dish is now worldwide renowned but only just recently. If you asked someone 15-20 years ago from Europe or even the United States about poutine, they wouldn’t know what you were talking about. Thanks to the media, food programs and the internet, poutine is now known as…poutine!

Poutine was created in the 1950s in Warwick, Québec. It all started because a customer asked the owner to add cheese curds to his fries and the owner’s response was “That’s going to make a dreadful mess!” or “Ca va faire une maudite poutine!”. Although many people claim to be the original creator of this dish, in 1964, a certain Jean-Paul Roy from Drummondville, Québec served the poutine we know today which are fries, cheese curds and gravy.

It really doesn’t matter who created what, this Québec dish is so clever and delicious. Since its fame, many cooks and chefs around the world have added their own personal touch to it but to me, poutine is poutine (fries, gravy and cheese curds). Give this well-known dish a try, it’s comfort food at is best!
Bon Appétit!

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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Italian-Style Bruschetta

Okay let’s get to the point here… Tomatoes are botanically speaking a fruit but are somehow used as a vegetable…Now that this is out of the way, tomatoes are the most popular fruit in the world…bananas come second and then apples, oranges and so on.

More than ¾ of home gardeners grow tomatoes and David and I have grown them on our patio for years with excellent results. If you have at least 3-4 hours (ideally 6-7) a day of sunshine then you are the perfect candidate to grow this amazing superfood at home.

I love the taste of fresh tomatoes. During the season, I have tomatoes every day either in a salad, as a condiment, in a sandwich or in a recipe like this one today.

I enjoy tapas/appetizers whatever you like to call them. They don’t have to be served right before dinner… I like to have mine around 4pm and serve dinner at around 7. One appetizer that is repeatedly asked for by my guests is my Italian-Style Bruschetta. Insanely simple to make, light and full of flavor, this bruschetta is a winner! My recipe has been featured for years on a popular food website and now on Club Foody. So I am proudly sharing one of my favorite’s tapas with you in this video …Bon Appétit!

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Thursday, 16 June 2016

Vegetable Medley

Aaah summer! My favorite time of the year! Have the windows open and let some fresh air in…The smell of fresh cut grass…The taste of fresh produce! Did someone say…fresh produce?

During the high season, I can’t get enough of fresh produce. I eat them raw, steamed, grilled and sautéed. I like to mix them up in colorful combinations and love to see a rainbow of color on my plate which by the way, is not only a healthy eating habit, it also provides a wide variety of vitamins and nutrients.

Okay back to today’s vegetable mix….The recipe I am sharing with you in the video is a bunch of vegetables sautéed together in a simple, harmonious and healthy way. Although it is very, very simple, the combination is awesome! Sometimes simplicity is the best choice and you’ll find it in this awesome Vegetable Medley. Let’s not waste any more time and let’s get cooking! Bon Appétit!

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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Kiwi-Banana-Pineapple-Orange Smoothie

It’s finally summer time and one great thing about the season is the produce. I love my fresh fruit and vegetables. I have them every day with every meal…what can I say…it’s a healthy thing to do! As most of you should know by now, I love to mix several ingredients and create new recipes.

I love trying different fruits and fruit combinations and one of the best ways to try them is making smoothies. Think about it…with all of the fresh fruits available…how can you resist the temptation?

In today’s video, I’ll share with you one of my creations…my Kiwi-Banana-Pineapple-Orange Smoothie. Yes I know I should come up with a shorter title and the reason why I didn’t is because this recipe is also featured on a large food website. Sorry but I’m stuck with the title as you can understand.

This recipe is a refreshing fruit combination and is a great way to start your day. One taste and you’ll have a big smile on your face. I’m sure the whole family will love it and it will become a breakfast favorite. Give it a try…you will be glad you did. Bon Appétit!

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Thursday, 9 June 2016

BBQ Pork Ribs - Restaurant Quality at Home


Time…it can be our friend or our enemy. When it comes to cooking, time seems in short supply for a lot of people and because of that, they compromise on quality and go for the most convenient solution available…store-bought, ready to eat food, take-out or fast food restaurants.

There are many dishes that are so easy to prepare and you don’t have to waste a lot of time to prep it. One of them is pork ribs. The method I’m about to show you is extremely simple and doesn’t require your constant attention.

There are a few important steps to take care of if you really want those tender, juicy and flavorful ribs. Probably the most important step is removing the membrane on the back of the ribs. In the video, you’ll see just how easy it is and this will make a big difference in the tenderness of your meat.

Just follow the steps and you’ll get an amazing meal as good as a top notch restaurant without paying the price in the comfort of your own home. This recipe is prepared indoors but it doesn’t stop you from making them on the BBQ as long as the heat is low….that’s another secret to good ribs! Give them a try, you’ll be amazed how delicious your BBQ Pork Ribs will turn out. Bon Appétit!

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Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Homemade Horseradish - As hot as you want

We have a Canadian steakhouse chain that originated here in British Columbia. On their menu they have some great items but there’s one dish I have a hard time to resist and it is the prime rib served with Yorkshire pudding and their amazing extra hot horseradish.

Call me a masochist but for each bite of prime rib, I spread that insanely hot condiment on and each time my eyes water, my nose starts to burn and…I love it!

I’ve been buying so called prepared extra hot horseradish in store and even online but none of them even came close to the one from the steakhouse. After a few attempts, I decided to go ahead and make my own. OH MY! Did I ever hit it on the head! There’s a secret to make it extra hot and you can find out how in my video.

So if you enjoy an extra hot horseradish then I highly suggest making your own. It is very easy to make and super-fast. One thing I would highly recommend to you is wearing glasses, either reading or sunglasses, or even goggles. As strange as it may sound, you’ll thank me for it. Also when making it, either go outside, by a window or on the stove top with the fan on high…The fume of this root is crazy hot!

People ask me how long you can keep it in the refrigerator. Well let’s put it this way….You have salt and vinegar in it, which are both good food preservatives. The only thing I do is I flip my container upside down every 4 weeks so it doesn’t get dry and the liquid circulates through the horseradish. Is it still good after 6 weeks? Yes but I won’t commit to tell you it’s safe. Mine stays fresh but perhaps I’m just lucky!

After making your own, you won’t go back to store-bought. First the price of buying a horseradish root is extremely cheap. Second, the time to make it is ridiculously fast and you can make it as strong or weak as you like. And finally, you are the creator of your own horseradish…how cool is that? Give it a try, you won’t regret it! Until then….Bon Appétit!

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Friday, 3 June 2016

Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Pizza

I love pizza, you love pizza, they love pizza, we all love pizza (use your best Italian accent here, it sounds awesome) and with over 3 Billion pizzas sold per year in the U.S. alone…holy moly that’s a lot of dough!


Life can get busy and with a hectic schedule, we don’t always have the time to make the dough, but did you know that in about half an hour you can have a delicious homemade pizza straight from your kitchen using a few simple ingredients and leftovers from your fridge? Yes, that’s right and it’s super easy too!


As traditionally known, pizza is made with dough and then sauce is spread over it with a bunch of goodies on top. The one I’m sharing with you today is similar to a traditional pizza except for one thing…I use tortilla for my crust. Why? Because I hate wasting food and I love recreating dishes from leftovers. The other night we had homemade fajitas and in our household, as much as we love bread/dough/buns/etc., we don’t eat them every day and more often than not, we end up putting them in the freezer. So each time I buy any kind of bread item, I try to be savvy and think ahead beyond one simple meal. So now you know where and why this idea of using tortillas for pizza comes from.


I’ve tried different techniques in the past and I finally came up with my delish “un-soggy” super crispy ultra-thin tortilla pizza – what a mouth full! The trick here is to bake it first and then add the good stuff on top. By baking a few minutes on each side, you prevent this ultra-thin crust from absorbing any moisture from the sauce and toppings. When you spread the sauce over after baking it, just be gentle and handle it with looove!


As I mentioned in the intro of my video, the cool reason for making pizza is you get to use up your leftovers and just like a blank canvas, you – or subject to what’s in your fridge – are the creator of your pizza masterpiece!


The pizza recipe that I’m sharing with you is just a basic idea of what you can do although I have to admit that this one is pretty darn good! Just imagine the combination of spicy chipotle mayo mixed with your fav BBQ sauce and then one of the toppings is pineapple chunks…do you see where I’m going with this? Spicy, sweet and salty in one bite…oh boy, things cannot get much better than this…or can they?


Besides saving time and money, it’s also fun to get everyone involved in pizza making and see their personalities thru their …pie! I really hope you’ll give this flavorful pizza a try and I’m sure you will fall in love….that’s AMORE! Buon Appetito!


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Mother-in-Law's Carrot Cake

When David and I first started living together, I wanted to make things he really enjoyed from his childhood. The best way for me to prepare his favorites was to go to the source…his mother. Of course as we grow older, our tastes change but there are some foods that no matter how old we are, we still crave some of our “mama’s” cuisine.

 One of David’s favorite desserts till this day is carrot cake. When I first got my mother-in-law’s recipe, we rushed to make it. The cake was perfectly moist and packed with “carrot” flavor obviously!

The only downside of her recipe was that the icing was way too sweet!

With a few slight modifications, we had our “grown up” version of one of his favorites. Although there are many great carrot cake recipes out there, this is my “go to” recipe. If you like carrot cake, this one is a winner…Bon Appétit!

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