Saturday, 14 October 2017

Powdered Sugar - Make it, Don't Buy it! - Tips & Tricks #13


Buying powdered sugar at the grocery store can be quite expensive. Here's a simple trick to make your own at home...

FOOTNOTE: Here are a couple of recipes you may want to use powdered sugar in;
To know all the tricks to make the Perfect Meringue every time, click on this link… Perfect Meringue

Watch this video...

Blue Cheese Dressing

Thanks to my parents and their background, I grew up eating all kinds of cheeses. We French people are the ones who eat the most cheese in the world… it’s a love affair! I’ve always had a few different kinds of cheeses in my cheese drawer in the refrigerator; from soft to hard. I also have a couple in my freezer which I will explain later.

Since David and I have been together, he cannot believe how much cheese he has eaten. When we met, I told him about the nickname given to me by my friend Richard which is Minnie Mouse. Now with that name tag that should’ve told him a lot about my cheese consumption… lol!

Is cheese good or bad for us? I’m definitely the wrong person to ask but apparently cheese is good for us because it is high in calcium. On the other hand, the high saturated fat increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes without including lactose intolerance and milk allergies. Having said that, would I stop eating cheese… of course not! I’m in love with cheese although I tried a few times to break off with it – we always get back together!

I love almost any kind of cheese and the blue ones are no exception! From mild to strong, I find their flavors so deep and decadent in different recipes, it makes the dish so luscious! There’s a condiment I like to make for different purposes and it is my Blue Cheese Dressing. I use it as a dressing (try my Bacon Wedge Salad recipe) as well as a dip for my chicken wings or veggies.

As I mentioned in my intro, I store a couple kinds of cheese in my freezer. Why you ask?. When a recipe calls for grated cheese or chopping it into small pieces, frozen soft cheeses are easier to handle and less messy. Grating or chopping is a breeze by using this simple little trick.

This Blue Cheese Dressing recipe is so quick and easy to make, it is almost a sin to not make it at home! The freshness of the ingredients will enhance your dish and trust me, after trying this recipe, you won’t go back to store-bought again!
Bon Appétit!


For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Turkey (or Chicken) Pot Pie

Another Thanksgiving that went relatively well! I wasn’t overly stressed, nothing got burned, all the dishes got ready at the same time and everyone had a great time. When my last guest left, I was tired but happy… it was another successful night at our place!

Each year I buy a big turkey so we can have a lot of leftovers. I’m sure many of you don’t want that – just a couple of dinners and that’s it! The reason why I want leftovers is to make more recipes with them. Everything is already cooked so reusing the ingredients for other dishes makes the task easier and faster. In a way, I’m like most of you – after reheating the leftovers for a couple of nights, I’m ready to have something else. There’s a recipe I have to make each time “the big bird” is on the menu and it’s my Turkey Pot Pie!

Turkey Pot Pie is a simple dish with so many flavors. The “I don’t want to eat turkey again for dinner” turns into a “yum… can I have more, please”! This delicious recipe has great fresh ingredients such as vegetables, spices and herbs cooked in a beautiful creamy sauce. This is one of those recipes that elevates turkey leftovers to a whole new level. It can also be frozen to enjoy later.

I really love this recipe and have no problem looking forward to leftovers just so I can enjoy this yummy dish again! Don’t be afraid of that humongous pile of turkey meat… there’s a flavorful solution to use it all up!
Bon Appétit!


For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Crab Artichoke Pepper Dip

When I was living in Toronto, there was one thing a few of my girlfriends and I loved to do. It was to go out for “tapas” and a couple cocktails/wine for Happy Hour on Wednesdays around the entertainment district and downtown core. Besides being very social, what I really liked about these little plates was to sample a few all at the same time. Of course, we tried not to order the same things so we could have a wider range to try. That was fun!

Most appetizers are fun to share and calm your hunger until the main course. It also sets the tone for dinner. Every time I have a dinner party at my place, I can’t imagine not serving an appetizer to my guests. It’s somehow brakes the ice, brings people closer and opens conversation more easily. Although we don’t need these reasons, once in a while David and I like to share one during mid-afternoon with a chilled glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Gris.

Whatever the reasons are for serving an appetizer, the quicker and easier the better… after all you want to focus on the main course more than on your appy, right? On the other hand, you still want to serve something tasty and yummy. I’ve got the perfect recipe for you. From start to finish, this chip dip is ready to enjoy either with tortilla chips, bread or crackers. The flavors are very Californian; crab, artichokes and roasted red pepper!

Next time you’re hesitant about what to serve your guests for an appy, don’t search any further and serve this delicious simple dish. You’ll see how fast it disappears.
Bon Appétit!


For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

Squash à la Canadienne

It’s another year and here’s another Canadian Thanksgiving and celebrations will take place this weekend with family and friends. Turkey is on the menu for most of us and all the goodies that come with it; mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, Brussel sprouts and much more. One item that always figures on my Thanksgiving menu is squash! It is incredibly tasty and easy to make.

There are so many varieties to choose from when it comes to squash. Just to name a few, there’s butternut, zucchini, pumpkin, spaghetti and the one I like to use for my side dish on Thanksgiving dinner is acorn also known as pepper squash or Des Moines squash.

From the botanic standpoint, squash is technically a fruit but we like to treat it as a vegetable. Fruit or vegetable, this produce is very good. Its nutritional values have a pretty long list of health benefits such as vitamin A, C, E, B6 as well as minerals such as magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron and copper. Squash has important anti-inflammatory and antioxidant components and is a great immune system booster. Integrate squash more often into your diet by using them in salads, substitution for pasta, dessert and side dishes like this recipe in today’s video.

My Squash à la Canadienne is very easy to make and you can prep this side dish the day before or early in the morning. You can add some finely chopped bell peppers in it but David and I prefer it simple. This is a side dish that everyone will enjoy so be prepared to make a lot because it disappears fast!

 Bon Appétit & Happy Thanksgiving!


For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Quiche Lorraine

We do entertain a lot! As we move slightly further away from our friends, not only will we be having dinner parties as usual at our place but also breakfast/brunch as well for them the day after – no one drives from our parties if you know what I mean… drinking and driving is not cool!

As Canadian Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, I’m sure you might end up having people staying over during that Holiday. Whatever the reason or the occasion, you will want to serve them something delicious but at the same time, quick and easy. Having said that, what about a dish you can actually serve for any meal with just slight adjustments to the accompaniments. What? Alright let me explain myself a little bit better…

There are few recipes out there that you can serve for either breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Of course I’ve had bacon and eggs for dinner many times but besides a few selected menu items, there isn’t a wide selection to choose from but yet, there is one that most people adore and it is Quiche!

To me this dish is so perfect for many reasons when it comes to serving this in the morning or for brunch. Served with roasted potatoes, toast/croissants along with jam, this food item can be quite impressive! Another plus to Quiche is you can prepare it the night before and just pop it in the oven the next morning… and you’ll be ready to satisfy a bunch of hungry breakfast guests.

When it comes to lunch or dinner, what is stopping you from serving this dish? With a little salad on the side, this is such a beautiful light meal to savor. David and I have this often and it is a healthy meal to enjoy whenever you like. There’s no specific rule in the culinary world that should stop you from having this delicious meal! Always keep in mind that you can always prepare your Quiche ahead of time and enjoy it later… now that is what I call convenient and versatile.
Bon Appétit!


For ingredient amounts and more info, visit

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Chicken Française

I’ve slowed down a little bit lately but years ago I used to go out to restaurants at least twice a week. That was my thing and probably still is… What I like is the whole experience which is to dress up, sit in a nice restaurant, have a nice waiter or waitress to serve me, try something new and then go home without doing any dishes… now that’s an awesome night out to me!

With a few of my girlfriends from Toronto – six to be more precise – we all dressed up to the nines with our stilettos and our designer purses, jumped in a limo and went out to a very nice Italian restaurant located on Yonge Street. We had amazing food, great bottles of wine and just a fabulous time all together! There was a dish I tried that night that I never had before and the reason why I picked that one was because of the name… Chicken Française! Being the only French one in the group, I thought it would be the right dish to choose. I was surprised with the results but more so to have that in an Italian restaurant although it was one of the most upscale places in the city!

I never thought about duplicating it from that night until I had a dinner party over at my place years later. It was good but not really an outstanding outcome! Of course none of my guests made any derogatory comments about it but deep inside I knew it was just good… not excellent!

When David and I moved in together, I gave it another shot… Still, it wasn’t a “wow” factor! I’m not sure if it was from my stubbornness or I just wanted to prove to myself I could do it right but I made it again and again until I finally got it!

Although we all have an ego and love to receive compliments, I won’t accept all the rewards myself… David was the reason why this recipe turned from “it’s good enough” to “oh my God, that’s awesome!”. The problem I had with this recipe was adding too much chicken broth and not having enough “oomph”! Also, my spices were not proportional to the other ingredients. To make a long story short, the success of this recipe is due to my lovely partner! If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be able to share it with you today. Sometimes you need someone from the outside to see what it really needs on the inside… make sense?

This is a great recipe to have any night of the week and even on special occasions! It is crispy and absolutely delicious with a beautiful combination of mushrooms and lemon in a creamy sauce. Served with a side of pasta, this is quite an interesting recipe to enjoy! Next time you want to make a different chicken dish for your family and friends, this is the one to try…
Bon Appétit!


For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Minestrone Soup

The end of the summer is here! Perhaps you are the kind of person that starts feeling nostalgic about seeing the warm weather going away or perhaps you are the other kind who is happy to finally enjoy the cooler temperatures. Which camp am I in? Both… ! I hate seeing summer leaving us but on the other hand, I’m happy to see the fall season coming with its beautiful colors and the crisp air.

During the hot summer months, I feel lazy when it’s time to cook unless I do it very early in the morning or if we BBQ that day. With the cooler temperatures on our door step, I suddenly have immense energy to cook because I see all the fresh fall product at my grocery store and my local farmers market shelves… love it!

One recipe I make every year is my Minestrone Soup. It’s not because it’s my recipe (yes it is… don’t kid yourself Frankie) but boy when my friends and family have it, they go “nuts” about it… ! It is packed with super yummy ingredients and you can enjoy it all year round because it’s freezable. There’s a little prep involved but isn’t it worth it to feed your family amazing healthy food for months to come?
Bon Appétit!


For ingredient amounts and more info, visit

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Jalapeño Cheese Bagels

My first taste of a bagel was when I was going to the University of Québec in Montréal back in the 80s’. I discovered a cute little eatery nearby making sandwiches. That place was tiny with just a couple of tables. It was more a take-out joint than anything else. It was very busy from morning to mid-afternoon because their sandwiches were original. Now let’s not forget that I’m talking over 30 years ago. Back then a sandwich was 2 slices of white bread… I know, very boring! People just started to elevate that typical lunch item to a higher level with tortillas and croissants.

My favorite lunch item at the eatery was a bagel with cream cheese and lox… oh my! From there I started buying bagels and eating them for breakfast as well. One day I came across one of the oldest bagel bakeries located on Fairmount which is still open after over 60 years. If you ever go visit Montréal, I highly suggest stopping by the bakery… you won’t regret it! Anyway, the moral of all this is I’ve been eating bagels in many flavors and loving them all!

A few years ago, David and I went on another West Coast road trip and in the middle of nowhere, we decided to stop at a small café for breakfast. To our surprise, on their black board menu hanging on the wall behind the counter, there was “jalapeño cheddar bagels” served with cream cheese. Curious and hungry all at the same time, we ordered one each. They were good but “oh boy” were they spicy! We don’t mind spicy and hot but first thing in the morning it was a little too much! There was our first and last experience of jalapeño cheddar bagel until 3 years ago…

Living so close to the Canadian/American border, we shop quite often in the states. One morning while shopping in Bellingham, Washington, we saw those jalapeño cheddar bagels again and decided to give them a second chance to redeem themselves. Nope, they failed once again by being way too “hot”. We both agreed to just forget about them…

By accident, last year we bought a jar of pickled jalapeños while there was already another unopened one in the pantry plus half of another jar in the fridge. Yes I know they’re pickled but when they sit too long, they start turning brown… not really an appetizing color! This is when the light bulbs went off and I decided to try making homemade jalapeño bagels. My first attempt was bang-on! They were not overly spicy and still had some kick to them! According to the kitchen approval supervisor, David loved them!

I love making bagels anywhere from plain to sweet and… spicy! If you want, you can omit the jalapeño peppers and just keep the cheese but why would you? This is what the recipe is all about… Next time you want to use up your pickled jalapeños (they are less “warm” than the fresh ones… that’s the reason why I use them for this recipe), try this and put a little spice in your life!
Bon Appétit!


For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Mediterranean Eggplant Casserole

There’s a quote that says “curiosity killed the cat”… I’d say that the cat died from a vibrant life!

I’m a curious person. I’m curious about almost everything. I’m curious about where people are from, their culture, interests and so on. I’m curious about learning new things everyday… When I go to bed and learned something new that day then it was a good day! I’m also extremely curious about food – I’m sure you already figured that out… lol – and especially the ones I never tried before. My ultimate dinner date is to go to a place where I have no clue about their food (sadly the list is getting smaller and smaller) and try dishes for the first time. Now to me that’s fun!

There was a “fruit” that I never had when I grew up and it is eggplant also called aubergine in French. If you wonder why I put the word “fruit” in brackets  it’s because eggplants are the same as tomatoes. They are botanically a fruit but we treat them as a vegetable – botany class 101… lol!

My first encounter with this “fruity-veggie” was in my early 20s’. I had Moussaka a few times at Greek restaurants but it never really turned my crank if you know what I mean… Years ago, I thought that if I tried to cook with eggplants I might like it but somehow never really developed a taste for it or perhaps never really created the right recipe for it. Sadly eggplants weren’t my thing until one day… When living in Toronto, I went to a Persian restaurant and by curiosity I tried one of their dishes called Baba Ganoush. My reaction was “Oh My!” and that was it! I had to try to cook with eggplants again!

Although in today’s episode I won’t feature my Baba Ganoush recipe, I actually have another one that uses eggplants and I have to say… mmmmm, it’s very yummy! The combination of nutty flavor with cheeses, spices, meat, cream and more, makes this recipe the Ultimate Comfort Food!

Yes it takes a while to make and it has a few steps to it but there’s a moment in life when spending extra time is so worth it! This is the case for this recipe. I don’t mind starting the process around 4ish in the afternoon to enjoy this scrumptious meal around 6ish! If the time is well planned while the eggplants are sitting for 30 minutes, you start cooking the beef mixture then drain it in the colander. You go back to the eggplants, pat them dry, prep them and put them in the oven while continuing with the beef mixture back to the skillet, prepping the panko & cheese mixture. After removing the eggplant slices from the heat, you start the cream sauce and while it’s cooking, you start to assemble. I would say than less than 1 1/2 hours and you have your casserole done! Deep breath…

Awesome recipe, amazing flavors and by the time you sit at the dining table, each bite will make you want more… that’s guaranteed! I’m glad that my “curiosity” drew me back to try a dish with eggplants again… I’m a happy kitten!
Bon Appétit!


For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Crab Louie Salad

Since I moved here to Vancouver, I’ve been travelling a lot with David. We’ve gone on many road trips together along the Pacific coast and enjoyed the spectacular scenery! One of my favorite spots is driving along the Oregon coast… Oh my! It is almost supernatural with its big rocks standing in the water and a slight haze surrounding them. We took extraordinary photos from sunrises to sunsets and each has a mystical flare to the picture.

After the Oregon coast, another place I think is so gorgeous is San Francisco. The first time I was there is when my father and I went to visit family. It was and still is so beautiful! I love the energy of that city. There are so many places to see, so many stores to shop at as well as so many restaurants and cafés to visit. If one day I can have my main residence somewhere in the states it will be between Bellingham, Seattle or San Francisco! Of course my second residence would definitely be located in the amazing Palm Springs area. Yeah I know I’m dreaming… perhaps that’s what keeps me going…!

The cool thing David and I love to do is to experiment with new dishes – he’s finally more adventurous in that department… yippee! and even more so when we travel. There is a dish that we never had before and we were quite impressed with it. It is a Crab Louie Salad! I’m not sure if we tried it the first time in Oregon or California but it sure had an impact on us. As soon as we came back from our trip (can’t remember which one it was), I made my own version of a Thousand Island dressing and assembled the ingredients for the salad. Throughout the years, I added ingredients by replacing others to the point that now we love it just the way it is.

My version of a Crab Louie Salad is a good base as a start and you can easily change some of my ingredients with your favorite ones. I love to combine crab and prawns together but you can either keep one of them or for a vegan/vegetarian version omit both of the seafoods. I personally don’t serve this type of salad as an appetizer but more as my main course. It is packed with yumminess and when you eat this salad, trust me you feel goooood! Next time you want to have just a salad for dinner, don’t look any further… this is the one!
Bon Appétit!


For ingredient amounts and much more, visit


Poaching Prawns/Shrimp - How To - Tips & Tricks #14

When cooked shrimp or prawns are required in a recipe, sautéing them is not always the right thing to do. Poaching is another cooking method and a great way to enjoy them. Here’s the way I do it!

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Frankie's Macaroni

I have to tell you something… I’ve been having a threesome for years…! First, I had a serious love affair as a child and eventually it developed into my culinary threesome…

Cheese, pasta and I have been together for a very long time! I’ve always been crazy about cheese as long as I can remember although I’ve tried many times to break up with it… somehow, each and every time, we get back together no matter what. When Mom was making pasta for dinner, I was so happy and later on as a young adult, my favorite thing to cook was pasta dishes with cheese. This love triangle has been there for decades and although I enjoy all kinds of cuisine, pasta night still has a special place in my heart…

I knew very little about cooking when I first moved out on my own. Besides pasta dishes, Shepherd’s Pie, Beef Bourguignon and Meatloaf were my main recipes. Interestingly enough, I didn’t have any desire to cook as a child or a teenager. I wanted to be out and about, play sports and read books… funny how things can change. Therefore because of my lack of interest in the kitchen department, my mother never really forced the issue. Unfortunately, at some point, a girl has to eat and either by desperation or necessity, I had to learn how to cook.

I surprised myself on how much I actually enjoyed making dishes and from then on, food, nutrition and cooking became a part of my life. I slowly started making my own recipes and although most were not successful on the first attempt, I kept cooking until it was just right – I guess that’s my stubbornness from being an Aries… lol!

This macaroni casserole is the perfect example of creating a recipe and learning from it. It is one of my favorite comfort foods and delivers it well! There’s nothing fancy about this casserole and it will never make it to a formal dinner party but… boy is it ever good!!! Yes, guilty as charged, I place processed cheese on top and I cannot replace it with another kind! This is not the kind of cheese I use in my recipes but there’s times, like in this one, that this is THE cheese to have – I also use this cheese when I’m craving “grilled cheese sandwiches”… yeah baby! Anyway, so with (definitely with) or without cheese, this is the perfect recipe to have around this fall. It is a pretty huge recipe but the great advantage of this is you just have to reheat the leftovers and honestly, it tastes even better the day after… a delicious culinary love triangle!
Bon Appétit!


For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Poached Pears with Caramel Sauce

Each season has its jewels when it comes to produce. Obviously the most popular one is summer with the abundance of fruits and vegetables! The farmers’ market stands are overloaded with produce. I’m not completely certain but I’m pretty sure that summer is the time of year when people buy the most produce…

Another season that brings a wide variety of fresh produce is autumn! The harvest from September to November brings a different kind of healthy produce. The wide variety of vegetables is anything from squash, beets, cabbage, rutabagas, Brussels sprouts to sweet potatoes – and let’s not forget its fruits with cranberries, passion fruit, apples, guava, pomegranates and pears just to name a few. It is just another beautiful rainbow of yumminess!

Now having said that, having people over is fun! You have your friends and family over for dinner and you really want to spoil them with a scrumptious meal and yummy side dish. Of course you served them a nice appetizer, picked the right wine to go along with your menu, played the perfect music in the background and even went an extra mile to get nice flowers to decorate your home… to make the ambiance cozy! Now here’s the final delicious touch… dessert! As I mentioned in the beginning of this video, baked goods are a lip-smacking choice, no doubt about it but sometimes it is better to opt for something different…

Pears are a delicious “late season” fruit, packed with vitamins, fiber, potassium and much more! I love pears as a mid-afternoon snack as well as a dessert. One of my favorite ways to prepare them is as Poached Pears topped with my homemade Salted Caramel Sauce . It takes no time to make… well as long as you’ve already made the caramel sauce ahead of time… and everyone… I mean everyone loves it!

Baked goods are yummy without a doubt but when these sexy shaped fruits are in season, why not serve them for dessert to your guests! There’s no other way to end a perfect dinner but with a flavorful dessert and this is a “classic” that shouldn’t be missed next time you’re entertaining!
Bon Appétit!

P.S. As I was making this video, I had half a can of sweetened condensed milk from a previous recipe and I didn’t want it to go to waste so what I did was to mix an equal amount of condensed milk with my Salted Caramel Sauce and the results were fabulous! Now there’s another way to top your poached pears…


For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

I grew up as a kid with “meat & potatoes” on the family dining table. My dad loved this combination. Personally, I couldn’t stand the monotony of it. Nine out of ten times this is what we were eating. Very seldom did we have rice and obviously when it was pasta night, there were no potatoes around – perhaps that’s the reason why I love pasta so much…. My mother tried to make it fun and interesting by serving the potatoes in different ways. She boiled them, mashed them, sautéed them, scalloped them and even fried them.

Another childhood memory I have is when my mother was sending me to the basement to get a few potatoes for dinner. I went downstairs with a large bowl and picked a bunch of tubers from that big 10 lb bag – yep that big! When I moved out on my own, for the first 2 years, I probably ate rice most of the time… Don’t get me wrong, I loved potatoes but just needed a break from them!

At home we don’t eat potatoes that often because I constantly diversify my menu. When we do, just like my mother, I make sure to change them around; scalloped, mashed, etc. A few years ago, I decided to really change things up and opt for cauliflower instead of the traditional potatoes and make mashed with them. We both really enjoyed the taste of it and the creamy texture was just fabulous! Some complain about the texture being grainy… the secret is…? Well I guess you’ll have to watch the video to find out…

If you’re bored with your potatoes no matter which form they take, you definitely should try this recipe… it makes dinner more interesting!
Bon Appétit!


For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Sesame Snaps

Most of my life, I’ve always been quite active physically. It is only until a few years ago that I stopped going to the gym and be more sedentary. Is it because the huge amount of hours spent in front of my computer doing editing, writing, blogging, and so on? Although it is probably the reason why, I won’t let it get to me. I need to get back into shape like I used to all my life. I miss my firm little body and I won’t blame it on Club Foody. The only person at fault here is… MOI (me)!

So I was basically at the gym almost every day since the 80s’ and if I wasn’t there, I was constantly moving and exercising. When it came to eating, I never had a weight problem until recently with my hormones going off the wall and my metabolism slowing down like a snail! Back then, I basically ate whatever I wanted without gaining an ounce. Was I a tofu-grain fanatic? Not really… I was eating from super healthy to normal but here’s the thing… I’ve never been a fan of fast food chains… their food grosses me out! When I was going to a health food store – I still enjoy going there – I always loved to try new “stuff”. This is when I discovered the sesame seed snacks/snaps/candy take your pick! They became my favorite little sweet treats especially if I needed a quick sugar fix!

One afternoon after the gym and stopping at the convenience store (yep they were there as well) to buy my little sesame snaps, I decided that I should give it a try and make them homemade… just for the kick! Well it was a hell of a kick at first trying to figure out the amounts and making sure they would be crunchy instead of sticky and gluey! It took me a few tries but I eventually succeeded!

Back then, silicone mats didn’t exist so I was using parchment paper. Oh my! So many times, the sesame seed mixture glued to the paper and I had to throw everything in the garbage then restarted all over again. Eventually I had a brain storm and greased the papers very, very well, quickly rolled the mixture out so it gets pretty thin – the thinner it is, the crunchier it gets! – and voilà, I finally made my homemade favorite treats.

From start to finish, you can enjoy them within ½ an hour – it’s a snap to make them… ummm! It is a light and tasty little treat with a satisfying crunch. They are great in lunch boxes, bring them along with your activities or enjoy them during mid-afternoon. If you decide to freeze some for later, place wax paper in between each square and place them in a re-sealable plastic freezer bag. Now with this recipe wherever you are, you and your family can enjoy these little guys!
Bon Appétit!


For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Pineapple-Mango Sauce

David and I enjoy entertaining at home and hosting dinner parties for friends and family. It is fun to have people over, spending time together and sharing our “foody” passion with them! We like to serve our guests sumptuous as well as “not so” ostentatious dishes. Either way, the end results is what counts but it is even greater when a recipe is not that complicated!

As I mentioned in my video’s intro, many people are not too familiar with certain cuts of meat. I think I can safely say that beef tenderloin is a very popular and well-known cut of beef. Tenderloin is located near the butt which is a muscle that doesn’t really work that much therefore it is the most tender cut of beef. The actual filet mignon is from the end of the tenderloin.

The same applies to pork and its tenderloin. Now let’s not be confused with pork loin and pork tenderloin which are different cuts from different areas. One is from the backbone framework (loin) and the other from the butt (tenderloin). Also a pork loin, which is bigger in size, is a cut of meat you want to cook slowly on low temperature versus the tenderloin who’s oblong (about 12 inches long and 2 1/2-inches wide) and smaller in size, is a cut of meat that is meant to be cooked quickly at high temperature.

One quality I like about pork is that it’s a lean meat. That is probably why it is often referred to as “the other white meat”. If you are on a low-fat diet, this is definitely a meat you want to consider. Although chicken is lean as well, pork is leaner.

Here are a couple of tips… The recipe I’m sharing with you today is quick to prepare and the key to achieving success is to have your “mise en place” ready. For those of you who are not familiar with this term, it means that all your ingredients are measured, cut, juiced, etc. and your kitchen tools are out and ready to be used when needed.

Make sure not to overcook it. Cook to an internal temperature of 140ºF and when it is removed from the heat and resting on a cutting board, it will continue to cook slightly while you’re concentrating on the sauce. Also don’t be afraid of that little orange guy (habanero). Of course it brings some heat to the dish but not as much as you might think due to the juices from the mango and pineapple taming it down a little.

It is an elegant recipe that you will want to serve at your next dinner party. The combination of flavors marry really well with this cut of meat. This is the perfect dish to make when you want to surprise everyone’s taste buds!
Bon Appétit!


For ingredient amounts and much more, visit

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Red Jalapeño Peppers Stuffed with Cream Cheese & Feta

I’m a cheese lover, so much in fact that my dear friend Richard from Toronto started to call me Minnie Mouse – that should tell you a lot. Since David and I are together, he just can’t believe how much cheese he has been eating since. What can I say…? I love cheese!

When living in the GTA, I used to do most of my grocery shopping at St. Lawrence Market (I love that place and miss it a lot). Anyway, when I moved here in British Columbia, I couldn’t find some of the “stuff” I used to buy often back East. When push comes to shove, I had to find solutions for many of my unsatisfied cravings.

One of them was Red Jalapeño Peppers Stuffed with Cream Cheese. This antipasto was absolutely delicious! Each time I was eating pasta or just a grilled chicken breast, I was eating those little guys along with my meal. As time went by without having them, I happened to come across some red jalapeño peppers and my first thought was to try making some just like the ones I used to buy back then.

On my first try, they were pretty good. I could’ve stopped right there but as my tastes have changed slightly during all these years (8 to be more specific), I wanted to add more flavor to them. Without being overwhelmed, I decided to mix a couple cheeses together, add spices to the recipe and see how it would turn out.

Now, I can seriously satisfy another of my cravings and make it even better. It is simple to make and absolutely delicious to serve along with whichever dish you feel like. When you have guests over, it is also nice to serve these along with a nice platter of cured meats, olives and artichoke hearts as an appetizer. They also keep well in the refrigerator - with just two of us and a dozen of these little guys, they don’t sit in the fridge more than 2 weeks. When they’re all gone, don’t throw the oil away…use it for cooking.
Bon Appétit!


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Thursday, 17 August 2017

Quick & Easy Chicken Chop Suey

I don’t know why but sometimes there are things you enjoyed at some point in your life and for some reason, they disappeared. As insignificant as that can be, I remember using this brush when cleaning my face and it felt good because of the subtle friction… it was like a gentle massage. One day when leaving for Toronto, – that’s before I finally moved there officially – I forgot to pack it. Two weeks later when I returned home, somehow I never reused it. It is until a few years ago when looking through an old bag of make-up and cleansing that I saw what used to be “my favorite” facial cleaning accessory.

Same with food and recipes… How many times did we have a favorite appetizer or main course and all of a sudden, restaurants stop offering it and we just forget about it until someone mentions it or we come across it. As well as having a favorite dish that Mom made and it slowly faded away from the family kitchen…

A few months ago, one of my subscribers kindly asked me if I had a recipe for Chop Suey. “Oh My”, I thought! Yes of course I had one but for some illogical reason, I stopped making it. I liked it a lot as did everyone who enjoyed it at my home. So why did this recipe disappear from my menu rotation?

This Chinese American recipe with uncertain origins is a simple meal that falls into the “comfort food” category. It is that kind of dish that family members sit around the dinner table to enjoy food together. What’s nice about this delicious dish is it is quick to prep and the cooking time is about 15 minutes. Now that’ a recipe you want to keep for those challenging evenings when there’s little time to cook.

I’m not too sure if my “favorite brush” and this simple but yet flavorful recipe have any connection to the time they both vanished but for sure I’m happy that I brought my Chicken Chop Suey back to my Chinese recipe list. Now when it comes to my facial brush, I let it go and replaced it with a newer version of it called Clarisonic®. I guess even your favorites can be replaced at some point…
Bon Appétit!


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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Silk & Satin Chocolate Pie

Chocolate has been around forever! Apparently chocolate originated in South America. The Aztecs and Mayas were making chocolate beverages known as xocolãtl which means “bitter water”. Of course, when it’s not fermented, the taste is quite bitter.

Chocolate is so popular worldwide and for good reason… Besides its scrumptious taste, chocolate (I’m talking dark here so we’re on the same page/blog) may prevent cancer, reduce stroke risk and heart disease with its pentamer, flavanols and polyphenols as well as protecting against inflammation. It also helps brain function, protects your skin, improves blood circulation and lowers blood pressure. Now that’s a medicine I have no problem taking every day as long as the percentage of cocoa is high enough – something around 72% +. Don’t think the chocolate in candy bars is the answer… nope!

Once in a while I crave a chocolate dessert so the other day I couldn’t make up my mind about which dessert to make between Chocolate Satin pie and French Silk pie. What? C’mon I’m sure you had a chocolate pie before. What about French Silk pie? What’s the difference? Not a whole lot besides one is creamier (French Silk pie) and the other one is richer with its dark chocolate (Chocolate Satin pie). What I did was basically take the chocolate mousse recipe from my French Silk pie and combined it with my dark Chocolate Satin pie… et voilà! This is what happens when a woman is perimenopausing and can’t make up her mind! Besides my hormonal situation, the results were amazing. It was the best of both… pies! Not too creamy and not too custardy, just perfect!

I won’t blame this on my hormonal situation but I needed more impact so instead of using a regular graham pie crust, I decided to use my Chocolate Honey Graham Cracker Pie Crust . As I was ready to serve it later on, I got another brilliant idea… let’s garnish it with some homemade whipped cream and shaved chocolate – talk about the ultimate dessert… it was the ultimate chocolate overdose!

Luckily, my idea turned out amazing and in the future, I might come up with more recipe combinations! The result is a beautiful combination of two decadent chocolate desserts. If you are serious about chocolate, this pie is definitely for you…
Bon appétit!


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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Sweet & Savory Homemade Ketchup

I grew up in a suburb of Montréal. The house was sitting on a nice property and the backyard was the playground for the kids in the neighborhood. It was also the playground for my father who enjoyed his garden. We grew many vegetables and herbs along with tomatoes. At one point, he had five different varieties of tomatoes. For every meal there were some tomatoes on the dining table. When family and friends were coming to visit my parents, they were all leaving with a bag filled with tomatoes.

My mother made so many recipes with them and always tried to add more to her list. When the season was over, the kitchen counter was covered with tomatoes along with other fresh produce from the garden. One recipe my mother made each year and barely lasted until Christmas was her Homemade Ketchup. This was and still is my favorite condiment using tomatoes. We were using it on pork chops, grilled chicken breasts and even on fish… that’s right! This ketchup is that good!

Years ago I asked my mother for the recipe and somehow she couldn’t find it but was able to give me a rough list of the ingredient amounts and directions. My first attempt was good but still not close to what I remembered from my childhood. It took me a few more tries before it finally came out the “right way”. Eureka!

Without a garden of my own, I was making my Sweet & Savory Homemade Ketchup every fall. It was some sort of “family tradition” I wanted to keep alive. I also started – which I should have never done – giving some to my friends. What a big mistake that was!!! Each year, the orders for these little jars filled with yumminess got bigger and bigger. At one point I had to stop making them… it was getting ridiculous!

When David and I started our little garden, my first thought was to make some homemade ketchup so he could try it. At first he was hesitant – most of the time he’s like that! – , but when he finally tried it on hot dogs, he said “Wow!”. He totally loved it! Of course, the ketchup disappeared as fast as it always did in the history of this particular condiment and in the middle of winter, I had to make another batch.

Besides David eating this condiment like no tomorrow, he called it “relish”. Oh sweet Lord! It was almost blasphemy to me! Until recently when I forced him to google it and read what the difference between ketchup and relish is, this argument was going on for several years… I finally won! What a stubborn creature he can be sometimes… lol! Anyway, it really doesn’t matter what you want to call it unless you are standing in front of me… then we’ll have a debate! It is different from the regular Heinz Ketchup but I can guarantee that you’ll really enjoy it compared to the commercial one!
Bon Appétit!

Warning… if you start giving jars away, please be mentally and physically prepared for huge orders in the future!


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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Ceviche de Pescado (Fish Ceviche)

Every summer, there’s at least a week that I won’t cook because it’s way too hot for that. Of course I enjoy cooking otherwise I wouldn’t have started my Club Foody website, but I just don’t like cooking when the mercury rises beyond the comfort zone.

It’s insanely hot outside – I usually don’t complain – and along with my hot flashes, I cannot stand myself in my own skin! The AC is running and still, I’m lacking energy… I’m drained! Don’t get me wrong, I love summer… I just don’t like summer with my condition… So what to do?

Frankie needs a break from cooking… that’s all!

David is awesome for that… He’ll grill and do as much as he can to help me when I’m not feeling “that great”. Still, he needs a break as well. Standing in front of the BBQ when it’s already super-hot outside is not an ideal situation for either of us. Of course there are recipes that require no cooking at all… There are a couple of “chilled soups” that I posted already on the site which are Chilled Avocado Soup and Spanish Gazpacho . There are always sandwiches that can be an alternative solution and there’s this recipe that is absolutely perfect to enjoy during this time of year. It is Ceviche de Pescado (Fish Ceviche)!

What is that?

It’s a recipe that consists of raw fish and/or seafood marinated in citrus juice. This method helps to “cook” the fish.

How’s that?

Without going into too much detail, the acid from the lime juice (some use lemon instead) denatures the proteins in the fish and from there it turns the flesh opaque and firm. Another way to achieve this chemical process is by heat so without really cooking the fish over the BBQ, in a pan or in the oven, this South American technique delivers the same results… well almost.

Heat kills bacteria which on the other hand the citrus acid won’t achieve, so it is very and I mean very important to use fresh fish. Unless you have access to a commercial freezer which will take only a day, what I like to do is to freeze my fresh catch for at least a week and up to 10 days. I also like to “blanche” the fish for 90 seconds. Both ways will help kill any parasites.

There are two important factors that I would like to point out to successfully make this recipe. First I like to take my fish out from the freezer to my refrigerator and let it thaw for a few hours BUT not completely. When it’s time to cut the flesh into small pieces, having the fish slightly frozen helps make cutting easier, it looks neater with less mess. Secondly, don’t over marinate the fish! Personally I believe 2 ½ to 3 hours is plenty otherwise the flesh starts getting dry. The result you are looking for is to have the fish turning white/opaque.

This recipe is elegant yet uncomplicated as well as delicious! You can easily serve this Ceviche de Pescado to your guests as an appetizer but I prefer it as a main course with tortilla chips as a food vessel. In the video, I didn’t show the last ingredient I added (I blame it on my hot flashes…) which is hot sauce – it seems that everything is “hot” hmmmm? On the other hand, some of my guests loved it just the way it is so it’s a matter of taste if you’d like to add some or not. Go ahead and buy some nice fresh halibut, mahi mahi, snapper or even tilapia and enjoy this flavorful Latin American dish!
Bon Appétit!


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Thursday, 3 August 2017


As you probably know I love my wine. I enjoy cooking with it, sipping it on its own and obviously pairing it with food. I do enjoy other spirits but wine, especially red, is my “thing”. In the Club Foody menu, there’s a section called “Club Picks” and that’s where I share my wine tasting notes as well as some restaurant reviews with you. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do so… it might help you next time you need to choose a wine to pair with food at your event…

When it’s very hot outside, I need something cold to drink and red wine is usually out of the picture. Last year when the mercury went above 35ºC for over 3 months, I mixed a lot of cold cocktails. One of them was initially made with 7Up® and it was refreshing. One day though, as I started prepping my “cocktail”, I realized I was out of 7Up®. I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store although it is only a 5 minute walk to get there (it was too hot outside), therefore I had to reinvent that drink with another ingredient. To my great satisfaction and surprise, this modification made the cocktail taste even better!

In this video, I’ll share with you my Cosmocello! It is refreshing but not too sweet… I am not a fan of sweet cocktails anyway. My mixology concoction delivers that perfect balance – not too sweet with a hint of tartness. I like to make it in a red wine glass but any tall glass should work just fine. Garnished with a lemon wedge, this is a great drink to serve your friends at your next backyard party. Who knew that laziness can sometimes deliver something as good as this refreshing drink!


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Monday, 31 July 2017

Vietnamese Summer Rolls - Gỏi Cuốn

Finger food, also called amuse-gueule in French, is a popular way to enjoy food. There are many dishes around the world that are considered finger food. Here in North America, there are chicken wings, hot dogs, hamburgers, oysters, fries, and so on. In Italy, there’s that delicious bruschetta as well as polpette, olive all’ascolana, canolli and more. In the Middle East, it’s their popular falafel balls, in Peru their cancha and let’s not forget matryoshka eggs that look like miniature dolls that you can find on the table of Russian parties. It doesn’t matter where you are in the World, people enjoy eating with their hands! From appetizers to more substantial meals along with desserts and treats, finger foods are easy, fun and convenient!

I really don’t recall the first time I ate Summer Rolls but one thing is for sure, I’ve been eating them for years now! This popular Vietnamese finger food called Gỏi cuốn is traditionally prepared with pork, prawns, vegetables and vermicelli. It is served with a peanut sauce for dipping.

Each time I make Vietnamese Summer Rolls, my ingredients are never the same… I like to mix things up and add crab meat, beef, eggs, tofu and others. It is not a type of recipe that the culinary imagination is limited! It is fresh, light, super healthy and quite satisfying! I really enjoy making this recipe during the summer when it’s hot outside. I do use peanut sauce but in this video, I’m showing you another quite flavorful dipping sauce for your rolls. It is spicy and sweet plus with the flavors from the summer roll, it is like a firework of yumminess in your month… Watching this video should give you enough temptation to roll up your sleeves and your rice paper to make this amazing recipe!
Bon Appétit!


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Thursday, 27 July 2017


When I was a child, I loved listening to elderly people talking about their lives, experiences, comparing their past with the actual present. To me it was a lively talking book – perhaps this is how the audio books started. I never got bored because I was learning from them through their stories. They were giving me an opportunity to see the world from another time, another perspective. That was better than any library in the world!

Things never changed as I grew up to become an adult. Meeting new people with different backgrounds was always interesting. Through the places I lived, I’ve met so many captivating individuals from all around the world who shared a part of themselves. By talking about their lifestyles, customs and so on, one common thing they all had was to make sure I tasted their food. I haven’t met anyone who was not eager to share the dishes they grow up with me. This is when I realized that food was one of the most important factors in anyone’s lives.

While living in Toronto, I met a man who was originally from Lebanon. We became good friends and like the other great people I’ve met throughout my life, he shared with me the food he grew up with. This is how I discovered Levantine cuisine. These flavorful middle-east dishes were deliciously different from any other cuisine. Richard, my Lebanese friend, showed me how to cook many of his favorite recipes. He eventually met a lady and we just drifted apart… that’s life!

Since then I never really made any Levantine dishes until a couple years ago when Club Foody became a part of my life. Before I never really wrote any recipes and realized that I should have. After a few mistakes here and there, I finally was able to make a few dishes learned from Richard with, I’m sure, a slight change to them. Like I mentioned, I never wrote recipes down until recently so as much as I try to stay faithful to the original, recipes can be different.

The one recipe that was extremely easy to remember was Tabbouleh – a vegetarian dish that consists of parsley, bulgur, mint, tomatoes, onions, and seasoned with lemon juice and oil. Not only flavorful but also healthy, this dish is so perfect to serve as a side dish along with any protein. I like to treat it as a salad although I’m not too sure if it is in the culinary world. Salad or not, this is an amazing recipe you will want to keep around…
Bon Appétit!


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Tuesday, 25 July 2017


I’ve been in business for most of my life. If I worked for someone else for 7 years altogether, that’s probably it! In the late 80s’ I started my first company which was a High-end Fashion Boutique for Ladies, located on St Joseph Boulevard in Gatineau (formerly Hull), Québec. I carried big designer names such as Mondi, Marcella Priani, Le Truc, and so on as well as some very expensive lingerie such as Chantelle, Lejaby, Filodoro, etc. I also designed some clothes with my label on them.

It was quite an experience and I was blessed to have amazing ladies working for me. They worked very hard to make my boutique a successful business. Often, I was doing fashion shows and they were there helping me with them. During this time, I met a woman named Lisette who was the agent and promoter for the late Alys Robi, a popular singer from Québec. She worked as well for me promoting my store through different events. She eventually got me a spot for one of my fashion shows at The Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. We did it during day time in the Zoe’s lounge throughout Afternoon Tea, packed with ladies enjoying their three tiered plates and sipping their favorite tea while watching my models walking in between tables showcasing the clothes from my store.

After we wrapped everything, I promised myself that one day I would return there to enjoy this British tradition. Sure enough, a couple of years later just before I officially moved to Toronto, I went there one afternoon with a friend, sat in the lounge and ordered some tea and a three tiered plate filled with sandwiches, scones and other sweet treats. This is when I first experienced these traditional English mid-afternoon tea time food items… scones… those little cakey breads. They weren’t sweet as the British served them along with jam and clotted cream… definitely the real deal! Later on, I had the North American version and they were surprisingly sweet compared to the British ones!

When I was running my event planning biz in Toronto, a lady hired me for her charity funding occasion. She wanted this to take place during the afternoon with something simple, yet elegant. I suggested a traditional afternoon tea served with what I had in Ottawa. She agreed and I went off to search for a caterer as well as a pianist, florist, etc. The event was a success… well almost because many of the guests had a real British afternoon tea experience prior to this event and unfortunately the caterer didn’t deliver the “right” scones.

There is a huge difference between British and North American when it comes to scones. Recently I gave them a try and I was pleased with the results but here was the dilemma – would my scones be a hit with the British or with the North Americans? David loved them and so did my friends… now that was a success to me! I served them with my Strawberry Butter along with petite sandwiches, a few one-bite sweets and a wide variety of tea. My “get-together” event was a success. Now if you will excuse me, I have a tea party to attend…
Bon Appétit!


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Thursday, 20 July 2017

Carnival Corn Dogs

There’s a man-made island called Saint Helen, located between Montréal and Longueil that is well known for its entertainment and amusement park; La Ronde. Initially built for Expo 67 which was the most successful World Fair of the 20th century, La Ronde continues to offer amusement rides, games, entertainment and fast-food till this day. It is open from May to October and is a kid’s dream destination.

I remember going there as a child with my parents. I wanted to jump on all the rides, play all the games with the hopes of going back home with a huge stuffed animal and eating whatever I wanted. There was one food item that I really enjoyed eating at the midway and it was called “pogo”, the Québécois given name for corn dogs. With yellow mustard on it, these battered dogs on a stick were absolutely delicious!

As I became an adult, I recall buying a box of corn dogs from the frozen section of the supermarket. They were okay but had that funny, almost metallic taste that you get when foods are frozen. Although I had cravings for them once in a while, I never bought a frozen box again.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I decided to take a shot at making corn dogs from scratch. After mixing my batter with ingredients and spices, dipping the skewered hot dogs/sausages in it and then frying them, I was pleasantly surprised with the results. They were even better than I expected and so easy to make! I don’t have to get dizzy going on rides with a bunch of loud kids around and spend a lot of money to win a stuffed animal to enjoy my “pogo” with a good drizzle of yellow mustard on it and now… so can you!
Bon Appétit!


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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Tomates à la Provençale (Tomatoes Provençal)

Tomayto… tomahto!

Fruit… vegetable!

These little guys can be quite a controversy but worldwide, we love them! It doesn’t matter how to pronounce them or if you treat them more like a vegetable than a fruit, tomatoes are just succulent! They are incredibly versatile; used in sauces, stews as well as desserts… that’s right, you read correctly – dessert! Tomatoes are fun to cook with!

Now this trivia will blow your mind… Did you know that there are over 20,000 varieties of tomatoes in the world? It is incredible and apparently the number just keeps growing – as well as botanically… lol! It is a plant that millions of people love to grow.

Summer is here and of course we tend to cook almost everything and anything on the BBQ. David and I have a love affair with it! Our dream is to have a big backyard with a pool and a very large BBQ area for a smoker, charcoal and pizza oven. We just love grilling food!

One side dish I’ve been making for years for its simplicity but also for its amazing freshness is “Tomates à la Provençale” or if you prefer “Tomatoes Provencal” – hey I’m French… of course I’ll say it that way… lol! With a beautiful mix of fresh herbs that I grow on the patio, this recipe pairs so well with any grilled meat. There are a lot of people who cook this in the oven… I prefer it on the barbie! Why starting the oven when it’s barbecue season?

Next time you want a delicious recipe using your garden tomatoes, think about this one. It takes 5 minutes to put the mixture together and after grilling it for another 5, you’ll have a flavorful side dish with your meal. It can’t get any fresher than that!
Bon Appétit!


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Thursday, 13 July 2017

Cantaloupe Smoothie

We all have our top favorite fruits and vegetables. To this we have our second favorites and then the ones we couldn’t care less about. I’m no different than everyone else although I make a huge effort to eat the ones at the bottom of my list. All fruits and veggies have their own nutritional properties and diversifying our diet is very beneficial for us and our bodies.

Sometimes though, there are certain produce we do like but somehow don’t eat that often. Mine is cantaloupe! I like that fruit but in the past, I could go for years before having some… strange indeed!
To compensate with not eating cantaloupe more often, I’ve decided to create a recipe that would remind me to go and buy it at least a couple of times a year.

For those who don’t know me, I’m not really a breakfast person although I really enjoy the food items. I don’t really have an appetite in the morning and working very long hours on my cooking website, the only thing I desperately want when I wake up is COFFEE! I do drink a lot of it and by the time I’m coffeed-out, it’s almost noon. I guess I still can have breakfast but I simply don’t unless David makes some for me – I know, I’m spoiled and deserve it… lol!

It seems that what I have more often than anything else in the morning is smoothies. It’s quick – I know so is a bowl of cereal – , healthy and makes me cut down a little on my caffeine consumption. So that’s how I came up with the idea to create a healthy recipe with my cantaloupe. Since then, David and I regularly enjoy this fruit and its benefits. If you are like us and want to eat cantaloupe more often, then this recipe will definitely help you do it.
Bon Appétit!


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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Maple Walnut Ice Cream

I’m originally from “La Belle Province” (the beautiful province) which is Québec’s nickname. I lived there until my early 20’s and then from there I moved to Ontario. Québec’s ethnicity sets it apart from the rest of the country. The obvious distinction is the majority of people in that province are French and speak the language. Even the culture is different compared with the other provinces and territories. It has a European flare and a more relaxing “attitude” – une joie de vivre – as we like to say!

Another facet that sets this province apart from the rest of Canada is its foods. Not only does Québec have its traditional dishes such as poutine, tourtière, creton, pouding au chômeur and many more but it is also the largest producer in the world when it comes to maple syrup! Québec is responsible for supplying over 75% worldwide… now that should tell you something.

It’s actually a big deal when the producers collect the sap from the maple trees during spring. It is a gastronomic ritual among us Québécois (Quebecers in English). Starting at the beginning of March and for nearly two months, there are sugar shacks everywhere and people gather together enjoying the harvest. With long wood tables next to each other in a very casual ambiance, the guests enjoy dishes that are cooked with or in maple syrup. Oversized plates are delivered and each person serves themselves just like they would do at home, passing each plate on to the stranger sitting next to them. The traditional meals that can be found on those tables are pea soup, scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausages in syrup, ham, salted lard crisps, creton, baked beans, meat pies, boiled potatoes, coleslaw, sugar pies, pouding au chômeur (poor man’s pudding) along with fresh bread, salt and pepper plus bottles of maple syrup to pour more on if a person wants to – like it’s not sweet enough as it is… lol! Live folk music is played and at any time during the meal – and after – , patrons can get up and dance on that rustic old wood floor.

Another fun thing to do when going to a sugar shack is to step outside and wait until one of the people working there comes along with boiling maple syrup and pours it on clean, white snow. On contact, the syrup hardens and the guests quickly roll it on a small popsicle stick. It is called maple syrup taffy or snow candy… take your pick!

There’s another dish that I’m not really sure if it originated in Québec but we sure enjoy the flavor. It is Maple Walnut Ice Cream. With all these traditional dishes cooked with maple syrup, I would presume this cold treat could’ve come from there but I won’t venture to say it affirmatively. On the other hand who cares where it came from because what really matters is how flavorful and delicious this ice cream is! With the crunchy taste from the walnuts, this lovely recipe is exactly what you need this summer. I don’t make “wet walnuts” as many recipes out there suggest because the maple flavor is already quite intense but I definitely roast them in the oven. This little step makes such a huge impact on this recipe. It elevates the taste and aroma of the nuts… definitely a must do.

Do Québécois have a sweet tooth? I guess we do but so does the rest of the world when it comes to maple syrup. This is probably the most popular food item that people who travel to Québec love to bring back home. Now if you’ve never been to Québec, this cold treat will give you a “taste” – of it.
Bon Appétit!


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Thursday, 6 July 2017

Grilled Fish Tacos

Who wants to cook inside during the summer months? NOT ME! Well it depends… if it’s not too “hot”, it doesn’t bother me BUT if the mercury rises beyond my comfort zone, cooking will definitely be done outside. Of course we all agree that grilling on the barbecue is the way to go.

One of our favorite light food items that we enjoy cooking on the “barbie” is fish. It is quick to prepare, easy to cook and there are so many versatile ways to have it. One of them is in a taco. After prepping all your ingredients, the only thing that has to be done is to grill the fish and the tacos… – a few minutes later… voilà dinner is served!

This Grilled Fish Taco recipe I’m sharing with you today is so delicious. You can use halibut (that’s the one I’m using in the video), mahi mahi, grouper, cod, snapper or flounder but the secret ingredient is the fish rub. With a blend of spices, this rub is the right touch to make your fish shine… well in this case grill is probably more appropriate… lol!

When it’s time to assemble your taco after barbecuing, you can use chopped ingredients such as avocados, red cabbage, chives and so on and there’s a nice fresh creamy dill sauce that can be drizzled on top too. This is the perfect dish to enjoy anytime but more so when you really don’t want to cook anything inside…
Bon Appétit!


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