Thursday, 29 September 2016

Mediterranean Fish Fillet with Tapenade

As you probably know, Mediterranean cuisine is very healthy and mainly made up of plant products. You’ll find these common ingredients in this cuisine; olive oil, whole grains, fruits & vegetables, beans, nuts, herbs & spices.

The reason why I love this cuisine so much is because I enjoy cooking with fresh ingredients and prefer using herbs and spices to enhance the flavor of my dish versus salt. I’ve never been a fan of salt since childhood and yet when I use it, I stay away from table salt and opt for the much healthier version which is Himalayan Sea Salt.

This recipe started because I had some chopped black olives sitting in the fridge and I didn’t want to waste them. From the very first attempt, this recipe was a success. It is light and fresh with some zip to it. This Mediterranean Fish Fillet with Tapenade is packed with flavor. It’s a simple healthy recipe that everyone will enjoy. An added bonus is that it is quick to prepare too.
Bon Appétit!

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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Homemade Apple Sauce

Fall is here and on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, you and your family decide to go to the orchard to get some apples. Here’s a fun fact; there are 7500 varieties of apples grown throughout the world and 2500 are grown in the United States alone…that’s crazy!

Anyway…you’re back home with your baskets full of apples and now what? You could roll up your sleeves and bake apple pies, make apple jams and while you’re at it, apple marmalade or chutney. One other thing you can make is my Homemade Apple Sauce.

Apple sauce is easy to make and it should be a staple in anyone’s kitchen for a few reasons. First, apple sauce is great to enjoy as is for a healthy snack. It is also a healthy choice for cutting down on cholesterol and fat in baking because you can use apple sauce as a substitute for oil, butter and eggs. Apple sauce can also be used in sauces.

Here’s a little kitchen tip I’d like to point out. I wouldn’t add any sugar until you taste it. Most of the time, the sweetness from the apples should be enough for your apple sauce. If you think it needs it, add a little and taste it again until you’re satisfied with the sweetness. I would certainly avoid adding any sugar if you are making apple sauce for toddlers. They’ll have enough sugar in their lifetime without starting now! Enjoy this whole food at its best.
Bon Appétit!


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Thursday, 22 September 2016

Chicken Ham Sausage Jambalaya

Did you ever have the opportunity to do or experience something new and for some obscure reason decline? Well let me share one with you that to this day, I don’t understand why I didn’t jump on it sooner. A friend of mine, Vycki, invited me back when I was living in Windsor to join her and another girl to fly to New Orleans during Mardi Gras. I don’t remember why but I didn’t go and still regret it each time I see or hear something about New Orleans.

To ease my sorrow, I decided a few years later to make something Creole, something that is a New Orleans staple; jambalaya. Unfortunately I wasn’t totally making it from scratch and was buying the “prepared jambalaya rice mix”. C’mon that was way back then!

Since becoming better at making dishes without using “prepared” foods, today I am sharing with you my Chicken Ham Sausage Jambalaya. It is simple to make and also a good way to use up some of your leftovers. You can change your choice of proteins but the combination of these three is just fabulous. Try it, I’m sure you’ll love it!
Bon Appétit!

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Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Creton Maison

I’m originally from Montréal and as a young woman I moved to Toronto and spent the biggest part of my life living there. Every time I went back to Québec visiting family and friends, I wanted to satisfy some of my food cravings…let me explain.

The Province of Québec is mostly French speaking and the culture is quite different from the rest of the country which is English. When it comes to food, Québécois cuisine is noticeably distinct from other provinces, although the differences today seem much less apparent than they were in the 80’s.

Back to my cravings…when planning a trip to Montréal, I usually had a list of food that I was looking forward to enjoying again. Life was busy and I couldn’t go back to Montréal for several years and this gave me the idea that I should start making my own Québécois cuisine.
Now that I live on the West Coast, I’m glad I took the initiative of making the favorite dishes that I grew up with and can enjoy whenever I have the craving.

What I am sharing with you today is Creton which is a typical Québécois dish served mostly for breakfast. It’s a meat-spread/pâté people spread on toast, croissants or bagels with yellow mustard. It is obviously not your typical toast and jam fare and definitely a different way to enjoy the first meal of the day. You can also enjoy it for lunch between slices of bread, pita or tortillas with tomatoes, lettuce and of course yellow mustard.

It’s definitely cheaper to make this at home than to fly to Montréal or Québec City and enjoy it at a local restaurant. I hope you give this Québécois breakfast classic a try soon.
Bon Appétit!


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Thursday, 15 September 2016

German Red Cabbage

I have to admit, I really enjoy creating new recipes and taste experiences. It is also more enjoyable when my partner participates along with my “experimentation”. But what about when the roles are reversed; my partner becomes the creator and I become (let’s face it) the guinea pig. Well that is exactly what happened here.

It all started because David is German and as you know, Germans love their cabbage. Me being the French lady from Québec, dislikes cabbage. You can guess this vegetable wasn’t really a staple in our kitchen until David decided to create this recipe.

The first time he made it, I remember being in the office away from the kitchen and complaining about how smelly it was! Although I was whining, he still brought a spoonful of his new creation over for me to try (perhaps it was his way to make me shut up…lol!). Surprisingly, I loved it! The combination of ingredients turns this plain vegetable into something delicious!

We now eat his amazing German Red Cabbage dish quite often. Each time he cooks it, I try not to complain (still can’t stand the smell when it starts cooking) knowing how wonderful this side dish will be. This is definitely a must try and for those of you who don’t like the smell of cabbage when it’s cooking…I hate to say it but suck it up because you’re about to experience something amazing!
Bon Appétit!


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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry

September is a great month! I’ve heard it’s the best time of the year because the kids are back to school…lol! Fine so they’re are back to school and here you are again juggling with time! Between homework, hockey games, ballet rehearsals, music lessons, often it doesn’t leave you too much time to prepare a good meal.

You don’t need to have kids to be squeezed by lack of time. Commuting can takes a whole lot of time (or that) and when you get home, you just want something quick & easy to prepare. Store-bought meals, to my opinion, are very bad for you. Why feeding your body with something that can make you sick in the long run? I realize not all of us have the luxury of “time” but there are ways to have a very decent, healthy meal if you organize your schedule properly. Cutting corners to save “time” is totally acceptable.

The recipe I’m showing you in this video is my Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry. You can prep your vegetables as well as marinating your beef ahead so when you’re ready to cook, this meal will be on your dinner table in no “time. It is a flavorful dish and your family will totally enjoy it!
Bon Appétit!

 P.S. I don’t like to repeat the same words but honestly I couldn’t find anything else to describe “time”


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Thursday, 8 September 2016

Bread & Butter Pickles

Do you like gardening? If you do, you are among millions of other gardeners around the world. It is probably one of the most popular hobbies of all. I enjoy gardening and so did my parents who had a pretty decent garden. They were growing so many vegetables and at the end of summer, my mother was pickling and canning what was left in the garden.

As a child, one of my favorite condiments was “pickled cucumbers” which I found out later are called Bread & Butter Pickles. My mother was canning the cucumbers in several big jars and way before Christmas, they were all gone. These pickles were on the dinner table every night, so they disappeared quickly and never lasted in our household.

After my parents sold their house, I hadn’t had them since. A few years ago I started getting into canning/pickling so I decided to give it a try. With little experience, I made my first batch and I was pleasantly surprised with the results – they were exactly like what I remembered.

Just as a child, the Bread & Butter Pickles don’t last in our house. This is a great way to make use of your cucumbers after harvesting. If you don’t have a garden, it is still fun to make your own without the unwanted ingredients in store bought varieties added to preserve them. The process is very simple and after making the homemade healthier version of Bread & Butter Pickles, you won’t go for the store-bought ones.
Bon Appétit!


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Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Bumbleberry Pie

We are at the end of the summer and it’s time to harvest the garden. Canning, pickling, freezing fruits & vegetables for the upcoming cold season are the chores we have to do. We also make sauces, jams and pies. Did I say pies? Bakers around the world are baking their favorite pies; apple, blueberry, cherry, peach, pear, rhubarb, strawberry and so on. Sometimes though, you don’t have enough fruit to make a full pie with one kind so here’s a delicious solution…mix a few fruits together like the one I’m about to share with you.

I have one that we really enjoy and it is our Bumbleberry Pie. The combination of berries makes this pie so amazing…well you’ll just have to make it to understand. I could try to describe it but I wouldn’t do it justice as to how wonderfully flavorful this pie really is.

Last month I posted my Foolproof Pie Dough so now you can make this pie totally from scratch. I should warn you though…you’ll have to make a couple Bumbleberry Pies because they disappear so quickly, you might not even get a slice!
Bon Appétit!

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Friday, 2 September 2016

How to do Home Canning a step-by-step tutorial - TIPS & TRICKS #6

Home canning is pretty simple. Follow the steps in this video and you’ll become an expert in no time.

PROCESSING TIME: If you live at a higher altitude, the water boils at a “lower” temperature therefore the processing time has to be longer. Adjust the processing time according to your elevation.
    • 1000 to 3000 feet (306-915 meters)         = 5 minutes
    • 3000 to 6000 feet (916-1830 meters)      = 10 minutes
    • 6000 to 8ooo feet (1831-2440) meters)   = 15 minutes
    • 8000 to 10000 feet (2441-3050 meters) = 20 minutes
HEAD SPACE GUIDELINE: Depending on the food type, the head space may differ. Please refer to the guideline below.
    • Jam & Jelly —- 1/4 inch (0.5 cm)
    • Fruits & Fruit Sauces —- 1/2 inch (1 cm)
    • Tomatoes & Pickles —- 1/2 inch (1 cm)
    • Relish, Chutney & Salsa —- 1/2 inch (1 cm)
What to do when jars didn’t seal: There are two options…
  1. Place them in the refrigerator and eat within 1 to 4 weeks depending on the type of food (pickles will last longer than jams).
  2. Remove the snap lids, wipe the rim of the jars and place new lids on. Don’t forget you’ll have to boil the new lids before placing on the jars. Process again in the water bath – follow step 6 and 7 again.
MORE INFO: With low acid foods (such as Vegetables – Meat & Game – Poultry – Seafood – Stews & Soup) these must be processed in a pressure canner because it needs to reach 240ºF (116ºC) to destroy the C. botulinum spores (Clostridium botulinum).

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Caribbean Jerk BBQ Pork Chops

Living in the East, I traveled to the Caribbean a fair amount. Although pretty close to each other, the islands have their own cultural individuality and this also applies to their foods. I’m a typical tourist, but I have an adventurous side. I enjoy stepping outside of the tourist zone to get a better feel for the culture. I like to go where the locals go, shop where they shop and eat at their local restaurants/cafés/bistros and bars.

There’s a dish I went completely nuts about back then while visiting one of the islands (can’t remember which one to save my life). It was so tasty, spicy with a hint of sweetness and packed with “personality”. It was so great I went there 4 times during my stay and ordered the same dish. Years went by and I almost forget about it…until recently

I don’t mind pork chops but they definitely need help in the flavor department. A grilled pork chop with a few seasonings is okay but nothing to rave about. So here I was a couple months ago with 4 pork chops staring at me and this is when the light bulb went off. I went to the grocery store, came back, started combining ingredients and blended everything together. It was an “Oh My God” moment, 9 ½ hours later when I took my first bite. It took me right back to that local joint on that Caribbean Island. Somehow I duplicated that amazing dish I enjoyed so much back then. Savor my Caribbean Jerk BBQ Pork Chops with its tasty marinade and you’ll be hooked like me. I have to confess…I love eating pork chops now and you’ll see why I do after trying my recipe.
Bon Appétit!

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