Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Chimichurri

These are really good.  Every time I mention fish tacos, my husband turns his nose up at me.  I changed his mind about fish tacos with this recipe, just like I convinced him camping really is a vacation.   He’ll really feel on vacation when I make these goodies on our camping trip this summer!  This recipe is courtesy of Michael Smith’s “Real Food, Real Good.”

For the Slaw

1/4 cup(60 mL) of honey
1/4 cup(60 mL) of white wine or cider vinegar
2 tablespoons(30 mL) of Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of salt
1/2 head of green cabbage, thinly sliced, shredded
or grated.
2 carrots

For the Chimichurri

  • 1/2 bunch of flat parsley
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1/4 cup(60mL) of olive oil
  • The zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 teaspoon(1mL) of salt

For the Tacos

  • 1 cup (250mL) of whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup(60mL) of chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon(2mL) of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1mL) of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoon (30mL) of grape seed or vegetable oil
  • 6 whitefish or salmon fillets (4 to 5 ounces/115 to 140 g each)
  • 12 to 24 tender fresh cilantro sprigs for garnishing


Start with the slaw.  In a large bowl or resealable container, whisk together the honey, vinegar, mustard, cumin seeds and salt.  Add the cabbage and carrots, mix well.  You can rest the works in the refrigerator for a day or two if you like.

Next:  Make the chimichurri.  In a food processor or blender, blend the parsley, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, olive oil lime zest and juice and salt until smooth.  Reserve in a small jar for a day or two if needed.

When it’s time to pan-fry the fish, preheat your over to 200 F(100 C).  In a shallow dish whisk together the flour, chilli powder, salt and cayenne.  Place your favourite heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Pour the oil.  working in batches so you don’t crowd the pan, dip and dredge each piece of fish in the seasoned flour, evenly coating it on both sides.  Knock off any excess and carefully slide into the hot fat.  Cook, flipping once until the fish is lightly browned and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Keep the first batches warm in the oven while you cook the remaining fish.

Build the tacos.  Cut the fish fillet in half crosswise.  Lay a tortilla flat on a clean work surface. Place half a fish fillet in the middle, top with a big scoop of slaw and a generous spoonful of chimichurri.  Garnish with a sprig or two of cilantro.  Fold and serve immediately…delicious..  Makes 12 small tacos with some leftovers, serves 4 to 6.


This shake is delicious and answers the call for chocolate!  Loaded with protein, omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants.  Recipe from “Oh She Glows Every Day.”  You can find out more about the Author, Angela Liddon, at “Oh She Glows blog.”

1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (Coconut milk works as well)

1 large frozen banana, roughly chopped

3 or 4 pitted medjool dates to taste

2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tablespoons of hemp hearts

1 tablespoon of coconut butter(almond butter or nut butter also works)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt to taste

ice cubes (4 or a few more)

Blend in a high speed blender until super smooth and enjoy….




Thinking Outside the Box

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”  Virginia Woolf

I recently stumbled across a book  “Oh She Glows Every Day” by Toronto’s own Angela Liddon.  This is Angela’s second book and her first book was on the New York Times bestseller’s list.   I am a little behind the scenes because I just heard of Angela Liddon a few months ago.  Her book is plant-based recipes and she is a vegan.  I am not a vegan, however, I have been eating less meat and I rarely eat red meat, mostly chicken  and fish.  Cooking has been a chore for me lately and that’s not like me as I love to cook.  The truth be told, I am totally bored, apathetic and disengaged with cooking.  I like to get a healthy dose of vegetables in my diet but I run out of ideas for cooking veggies and I am extremely bored of salads.  A friend of mine started posting her daily new creations from “Oh She Glows” on instagram and her posts caught my interest.  After gazing through Angela’s book at the local Costco, I bought the recipe book and began cooking and thinking outside the box.  Plant based cooking will be a challenge in my house as I live amongst definite carnivores.  My oldest son is taking a foods class in school and during a presentation about vegan food, he and his buddies chanted “Vegans aren’t right” to the bewilderment of his teacher.  Of course my youngest, well he thinks vegetables will poison him and my husband….he likes his meat but open to the concept of not eating as much meat, but he has a long way to go to being “open minded”.   Below I am sharing Angela’s “Oh Em Gee Veggie Burgers from “Oh She Glows Every Day”. Click here to go Angela’s blog where she shares many recipes and enlightens us with her genuine and authentic soul.  Oh She Glows Blog

Oh Em Gee Veggie Burgers


For the burgers:
  • 1 1/4 pounds (565 g) sweet potato or butternut squash (2 cups of  sweet potato or butternut squash)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons (25 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup (100 g) walnuts, finely chopped, or 1/2 cup (75 g) hulled sunflower or pepita seeds
  • 2/3 cup (95 g) finely chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) minced garlic (6 or 7 large cloves)
  • Two (14-ounce/398 mL) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons (14 to 21 g) 9-Spice Mix (p. 258, Oh She Glows Every Dayor this one, to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup (8 g) lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) Easy Barbecue Sauce (p. 255), or store-bought
  • 1 cup (70 g) spelt bread crumbs or breadcrumbs of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons (17 g) gluten-free oat flour
Topping suggestions:
  • Homemade Vegan Mayo (p. 269) or this one, or store-bought
  • Easy Barbecue Sauce (p. 255), or store-bought
  • Sliced avocado
  • Sliced red onion
  • Sliced tomato


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line an extra-large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Peel the sweet potato and cut it into 1/2-inch cubes. You should have about 4 cups. Spread the cubes over the baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt. Roast for 15 minutes, then flip and roast for 15 to 20 minutes more, until fork-tender.
  3. In a large skillet, toast the chopped walnuts over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes, until fragrant and lightly golden. Transfer the walnuts to an extra-large bowl (trust me when I say extra-large as there is a lot of dough to mix).
  4. In the skillet, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, stir to combine, and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until softened. Transfer to the bowl with the walnuts.
  5. In a food processor, pulse the beans until you have a mixture of bean paste, chopped beans, and fully intact beans. Be careful not to overprocess them, as you still want a bit of texture. Transfer the beans to the bowl. (You can also mash by hand if necessary.)
  6. Measure out 2 lightly packed cups of the roasted sweet potato and transfer to the large bowl. With a fork, mash the potato into the other ingredients in the bowl until the potato is almost smooth.
  7. Add the 9-Spice Mix, salt, parsley, barbecue sauce, bread crumbs, and oat flour to the bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined. You can knead the dough together with your hands if that’s easier, or just keep stirring (it’s a great arm workout!). Taste and adjust the seasonings, if desired.
  8. Scoop a heaping 1/3 cup of the dough and shape it into a round, uniform patty, packing it tightly as you rotate the patty in your hands. Place the patty on the lined baking sheet. Repeat to make 11 or 12 patties total, setting them at least an inch apart.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes at 375°F (190°C), gently flip with a spatula, and bake for 10 to 20 minutes more, until firm and lightly golden. Cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes before serving (this helps them firm up). Serve the patty in a bun along with your desired toppings. We love the combo of vegan mayo, BBQ sauce, avocado, lettuce, and tomato!
  10. Let any leftover patties cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also wrap the patties individually in aluminum foil, place in a freezer bag with the air sucked out, and freeze for 3 to 4 weeks. Thaw completely on the counter or in the fridge before reheating in a greased skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes on each side.


  • Tip You will need 2 cups of roasted sweet potato (or butternut squash) for this burger recipe. Any leftover roasted potato or squash can be served alongside the burgers, so feel free to make extra.
  • Make it gluten-free Use gluten-free bread crumbs instead of spelt bread crumbs.
  • Make it nut-free Use hulled sunflower seeds or pepita seeds instead of walnuts.
  • Make it kid-friendly Shape small patties and serve them on slider buns. They are the perfect size for precious hands! You may also consider reducing the spice mix slightly depending on how much your kids enjoy spice.

Apple Pie Muffins

muffinsMade these with fresh apples picked from a friend’s tree…..delicious..

Ingredients:  – yield 18 – 24 muffins


1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter – melted


2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk (or use 1 tsp vinegar in 1 cup milk)
1/2 cup butter  – melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups diced apples


Topping-mix all together, until mixture forms crumbs.

Batter- Whisk together egg, buttermilk, butter, and vanilla.
Stir in sugar.

Without mixing, add flour, baking soda, salt and apples.
Stir just until combined.  Do not over mix.

Spoon into muffin cups.

Sprinkle with the topping.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes or until firm to the touch.

Recipe courtesy of

Balsamic Chicken

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a  recipe – this recipe is so easy and quick.   I’m all about easy and quick!

Note: If desired, you can substitute approximately 12-16 chicken breast tenders (tenderloins) in lieu of the whole chicken breasts.


4 boneless chicken

2 teaspoons lemon-peper seasoning

1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup chicken broth

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 teaspoons of butter

parsley sprig

cherry tomatoes


On a hard surface with meat mallet, lightly pound chicken to 1/4-inch. To minimize the mess, place the breasts/tenders in a zipper-lock bag (unsealed) before pounding (if doing so, ONLY use a flat-surface mallet — not one with ridges).

Sprinkle lemon-pepper seasoning evenly on both sides of chicken. Press to adhere.
In a large frying pan, pour oil and heat to medium temperature.  Add chicken breasts and cook, turning once, about 7 minutes or until fork can be inserted in chicken with ease. If substituting tenders, cook approximately 2-3 minutes per side, or until done.

Remove chicken to warm serving platter (keep warm). In medium bowl, mix together vinegar, broth and garlic; add to frying pan. Cook over medium-high heat (scraping up brown meat bits) about 2-4 minutes or until mixture is reduced and syrupy.
Add butter; stir to melt.

Place chicken on serving dish and spoon sauce over chicken.
Garnish with parsley sprigs and cherry tomatoes.

My notes:  I added a bit of dijon mustard to the balsamic vinegar mix and cut up some fresh chives and oregano to add to the cherry tomatoes and parsley sprig mixture on top


Slow Cooker Apple Crumble

I’ve enjoyed having a few close friends over this Christmas – that is what Christmas is all about  – spending time with loved ones.  Between both boys there were three hockey tournaments over the Christmas holidays so most of my time has been spent driving across town, not leaving me a lot of time to prepare for  a dinner party.  Over the years I’ve learned a few short cuts and quick tips and I know my weakness.  I am no Martha Stewart when it comes to baking, decorating and presentation, so I rely on simplicity.  Simple place settings, simple drinks, simple desserts and lots of love!  Below is something I throw together and let it cook all afternoon in the slow cooker while I prepare the rest of dinner.  At the end of the day you have delicious apple  crumble and all you have to do is add ice cream.  Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays and spending precious time with family.
Slow Cooker Apple Crumble.
courtesy of: scattered thoughts of a crafty mom

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup cold butter cut into pieces
  • 4 to 6 large apples peeled cored and thickly sliced (you want about 6 cups)
  • 6 tbsp apple juice ( I didn’t have any apple juice, so  used 1 tbsp lemon juice and the rest water)


  1. In a large bowl, stir the flour, oats, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and nuts together until combined. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender, fork or hands until pea sized lumps are formed.
  2. Place the apple slices in the base of the slow cooker and add the apple juice. Sprinkle the flour mixture evenly over them.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. (make sure your slow cooker actually cooks on low- many of the newer ones actually run higher.  If your’s cooks hot, you may want to shorten the cooking time.)
  4. Serve warm with a scoop (or 2) of vanilla ice cream
  5. Enjoy!

Gorgeous and Moroccan

I love the sound of Moroccan and love the food even more. A few dishes I made this past weekend and I think the recipes are worth sharing – just in time for grilling weather.

Grilled Moroccan Chicken

Servings: 4


1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped scallion (white part only)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts


  • Combine olive oil, scallions, parsley, cilantro, garlic, paprika, cumin, salt, turmeric and cayenne pepper in the container of a food processor.
  • Process until smooth
  • Rub the mixture on both sides of the chicken breast and let stand 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the grill to medium hot and grill chicken breasts 5 – 7 minutes on each side, or until done.
  • Recipe taken from chicken

Serve the chicken with:

Black Bean and Couscous Salad

Makes 10 Servings


1 cup uncooked couscous
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
8 green onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
2(15 ounce) cans black beans, drained
salt and pepper


  • Bring chicken broth to a boil in a 2 quart or larger sauce pan and stir in couscous.
  • Cover the pot and remove from the heat
  • Let stand for 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar and cumin.
  • Add green onions, red pepper, cilantro, corn, beans and toss to coat
  • Fluff the couscous well breaking up any chunks.
  • Add to the bowl with the vegetables and mix well.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve at once or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe from bean couscous salad


pizza collageWhen I look back on our life the last few years, I feel like  we have been living life in the fast lane.  Seems we are always on the run, always connected to technology and less connected to one another.   Both Drew and I have been trying to change this fast pace by being more focused on one another, turning off the technology and taking the time to sit together and just talk, spend time as a family doing leisurely things like swimming or skating.  Sounds easy but throw in work, school, sports, all of our schedules  and it can be real tempting to take the easy way out and lose yourself in Facebook, tv and video games.  We’ve never been a family who eats in restaurants or on the run as I’ve always been determined to cook home cooked meals.   Even at our busiest times,  I cook simple nutritious meals that don’t take long to make.   I’m a big believer that food is an important part of bonding – good food, not fast food you’re running at a 100 miles an hour through the drive through.   Lately I’ve been focusing on cooking ahead or making double the amount so I can put left-overs away for lunch or the next dinner.  Butter chicken has become a favourite and I cook up my butter chicken recipe at least once a week.  This past Friday I had some butter chicken left over in the fridge and decided to make a pizza with the butter chicken  theme.   The pizza was a hit and I must say it was delicious.   I make the dough in a bread maker, set it all up in the morning before I go to work and set for the dough to be ready when I walk in the door.  There is nothing more tasty than fresh dough pizza.  Below is the recipe and I warn you, I throw food together with a pinch of that and bit of this!  I will try to get the recipe right but I find the tastiest dinners I’ve made have been the dinners I’ve thrown together with spices here and there and grab this and that , so go ahead and experiment.   Recipe below – enjoy!


Two 30 cm (12′) rounds or three 20cm (8″) rounds

325 ml / 1 1/4  cups of water

35 ml / 3 tbsp olive oil

7 ml / 1 1/2 tsp salt

375 ml / 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

375 ml 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

15 ml / 1 tbsp bread machine yeast

cornmeal (optional) for sprinkling on sheet

Place all ingredients in the order listed (don’t add the cornmeal) in bread machine pan.

Set to dough setting. (takes 2 hours)

Grease pans and sprinkle with cornmeal.  Knead risen dough on floured surface until no longer sticky.  Place on pan; stretch dough with oiled fingers – careful of tearing the dough  – or roll out on pan with rolling pin, to edge of pan (dough will be springy so keep stretching until it stays in place)

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

spread your favourite pizza sauce on dough and spread a bit of masala garam spice, salt and pepper and pressed fresh garlic on the pizza sauce.

Chop red onions into small wedges and grill in olive oil preferably in a cast iron pan on stovetop  until soft and sweetened.  Add a little balsamic vinegar grill a few more seconds and remove from heat.

Place left over buttered chicken, red peppers,  and grilled onions on pizza dough.(grilled mushrooms would be delicious on this pizza as well)

Top with lots of mozzarella cheese and bake in a hot oven for 12 – 15 minutes until dough is cooked and cheese is browned.

Double click on the link below for butter chicken recipe:

butter chicken







icecream-pie-9Found this recipe on High Walls – I love berries and vanilla ice cream.  I haven’t made this yet but it’s a no brainer.  I’m positive the pie is delicious – after all it contains two very important ingredients for awesomeness – fat and sugar!  Enjoy – picture makes me want to eat it up..

MIXED BERRY PIE (Recipe from High Walls )

1 packet of Nice Biscuits

1 cup of butter

1/3 cup of sugar

1 pint of vanilla ice cream

1 packet of frozen mixed berries

1. Place the biscuits in a food processor and blitz until reduced to crumbs. Transfer  to a large mixing bowl. Along with the sugar (you can omit the sugar if you prefer).

2. Melt the butter and allow to cool slightly before using. Add gradually to the crumb mixture, mixing as you go until the mixture starts to clump together. (you may not need all the butter)

3. Press the mixture evenly into a pie or tart tin, pushing up at the sides and smoothing the bottom. The mixture should come together as you press down. Place in the freezer to set for 30 – 40 minutes.

4. Meanwhile allow the vanilla ice cream to soften in a large bowl. Place the 3/4 of the frozen berries in a food processor and pulse a few times to break down into smaller pieces.

5. Mix the berries (and any juices) into the softened ice cream. If you are feeling it, add in some finely chopped chocolate as well.

6. Remove the crust from the freezer and fill with the ice cream and berries. Ensure that the crust is completely filled and smooth down the top. Wrap in plastic wrap and return to the freezer for at least an hour.

7. To serve, remove the pie from the freezer and allow to sit to soften slightly before cutting into slices. Top with the remaining frozen berries and dust with icing sugar if you so desire.

killer tofu

I get a kick out of yoonanimous – she’s got a wicked sense of humour and this looks like a wicket recipe.


Adapted from “Martin Yan’s Chinatown Cooking”


3 fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms (if dried, soak in warm water for 20 minutes), de-stemmed and chopped

6 oz. ground pork

1 teaspoon + 2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon hot bean paste, black bean sauce, bean chili sauce, or chili garlic sauce (one of these should be available in the “ethnic foods” aisle—we’re getting ethnic, people!—of your grocery store. If you have a choice, go for the bean chili sauce)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/3 cup chopped water chestnuts

1 14-oz. package soft (or silken, or Japanese style) tofu, drained and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

2 green onions, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch lengths

2 teaspoons cornstarch (dry)

2 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water


1. Marinate the pork: stir the ground pork, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon soy sauce together, let stand 10 minutes.

2. Make the sauce: stir 2 tablespoons soy sauce in a bowl with the sesame oil and one cup water. Set aside.

3. Chop the water chestnuts, mushrooms, green onions, throw them all in bowl and set aside. Get your chopped garlic ready. Make sure your tofu is cut and drained. You want everything chopped before you start a stir-fry, because the actual cooking takes like 4 minutes.

4. Heat a wok, skillet, or cast-iron pan over high heat until hot. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and stir fry until fragrant, mybe 20 seconds. Add the pork, whatever bean/chili paste or sauce you are using, and stir fry until the pork is crumbly, 2-3 minutes.

5. Pour the sauce into the pan along with the cut vegetables (water chestnuts, mushrooms, green onions). Slide in your tofu, stir gently or swirl the pan to get the tofu coated with the sauce. Let simmer until heated through, 2-3 minutes. Don’t freak out if your soft tofu starts to break apart. Just be as gentle as you can.

6. Pour in the dissolved cornstarch and cook gently, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens, about 1 minute. If you don’t care if your sauce is runny, you can omit this step.

7. Take off heat. Serve over hot brown rice!


Everywhere you turn, someone is telling you that something you’re feeding your kids is bad for them. Which is fine if your kids are good eaters and you have a host of food options from which to choose. My kids? Left to their own devices, they each eat like twelve foods. Maybe more like six, if you take away the fruit.

One of the things they will both eat, however, is tofu. They will eat every variety of tofu, from silken to pressed. They will eat it in soup, baked, pan fried, steamed, whatever. And that’s good because tofu has nutritious stuff in it, like vegetable protein.


Anyway, about the tofu. The latest word on tofu is that if you have boy children and they eat too much of it, they will grow breasts. Or something like that. Feel free to Google it—I haven’t, because, okay, I admit it, I’m…

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fiddle head and fern collage

I took a few pictures in my garden this weekend – my pictures really do my garden justice because I’m only focusing on the beauty, I’m not showing you the overgrown weeds that I’ve not had the time to pull.  My honeysuckle vine is now growing over my fence and blooming flowers like crazy – I love the smell of honeysuckle but I’m always disappointed that the flowers are gone way too soon.  The fern might not look like a big deal to you but the little fern you see pictured in the collage is a big deal to me.  The fern is a Japanese painted fern and eventually the fronds will shade silver in colour.  Apparently the Japanese painted fern can take 2 – 3 years to reach mature colorization.  Mine will take more like 10 years as I planted this fern three years ago and I did not get one single frond.  As a matter of fact I pulled out the root by accident while weeding and couldn’t figure out what plant it was because nothing had ever grown from it.  I stubbornly put the root back in the ground hoping it would grow.  I love ferns, they are a simple basic plant that looks so great in any garden.  There is a Japanese Maple above that fern and this year half the Japanese Maple has died  – opening the area to  more illumination from the sun.  The Japanese painted fern is supposed to do well in shade.  I guess the one I bought needs sun because for the very first time in three seasons I have fronds coming from my fern.  My mother use to say, “where there is death, there is birth.”  I thought of her when taking pics of this fern.  I’m adding a recipe to this phlog and it’s an appropriate recipe.  The first time I saw fiddleheads was in an issue of Martha Stewart a few years back.  Pictured were these beautiful green strange-looking things that had a familiarity to me.  I couldn’t place where I had seen them before and I had no idea where they came from or how to grow them.   Never have I  seen a fiddlehead in the flesh until last weekend.  While shopping at the superstore for a few things I came across a package in the produce department.  They were not cheap – $6.00 for a small package.  I bought them because I was curious and I have to admit Martha’s display still held my curiosity.   I had to do a little research when I got home because I had no idea how to cook fiddleheads. While researching how to cook them I realized why they looked so familiar to me; fiddleheads are the furled fronds of a young fern harvested for use as a vegetable. I see young furled fronds in my garden every spring – I never made the connection because the fiddleheads just looked strange to me.  I grew up in Quebec and fiddleheads are well known in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.  Obviously not popular with my family because I never saw them on our dinner table.   Very simple to cook and  delicious.


Rinse fiddleheads well with cold water.

Boil on a high boil for at least 10 minutes until tender.

Throw into a frying pan preferably cast iron and sauté with butter, garlic, shallots, salt and pepper.

Heat thoroughly and serve – delicious and fiddleheads melt in your mouth.

Fiddleheads contain various vitamins, minerals as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.  They are a source of antioxidants, dietary fibre and rich in potassium but on the downside – fiddleheads may harbour microbes so washing and boiling for at least 10 minutes is a must..



Speedy Split Pea Soup With Bacon (or ham)

Art by Mary-Anna Fricano Welch

Art by
Mary-Anna Fricano Welch

I haven’t had split pea soup since my mother made it while we lived in Quebec – have to give this a try – courtesy of  P.E.A.C.E

Makes 6 generous servings (or lots to freeze) and is ready in about an hour.

1 package bacon, chopped (or 1-2 cups diced cooked ham)
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, washed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled sliced thinly
2 cups dried split peas
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
Salt and pepper
2 cups of frozen peas
1 tablespoon of any vinegar

Place bacon in a large soup pot over a medium high heat. When the bacon is brown and crispy drain away the fat, leaving about 2 Tbsp in the pot (alternately, first cook veg in a bit of EVOO and add thawed cooked ham when adding dried peas, stock and seasonings). Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic to the pot and sauté for a few minutes. Add the dried peas, stock, bay leaves, rosemary and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking until the soup is thick and the peas are completely soft. Stir in frozen peas and stir to heat through. Stir in the vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste. (recipe sourceGina’s Note: The bright pop of flavor from the fresh/frozen green peas adds a real freshness and depth to this dish, and the vinegar (I use red wine vinegar) simply highlights all the flavours already there. You won’t actually taste vinegar, it’s simply doing its magic of heightening flavors.

Pipe Dream #236: To Sneak in Snacks – Chocolate Oatmeal Cake

I just had to reblog this recipe. I haven’t made this this yummy cake yet, but I’m gonna. Chocolate and marshmallows -need I say more.

piping dreams

choc oat cake 1

For your cold and chocolate fixes…

{Get a looka that crinkly icing!}

…this oatmeal cake is sure to warm you up.

choc oat cake 5

This cake is so full of chocolate, I barely know where to begin. First comes the cake layer, a dense cocoa oat slice studded with semisweet chocolate chips. The oats in the cake don’t come off as oatmeal; they just keep everything moist and hearty. Then follows a sugary chocolate icing that includes MARSHMALLOWS (cue singing aloud for joy). It’s that kind of rich icing that you almost can’t eat with a spoon because of its intensity, but then you can because its fudge rippliness is so irresistible.

choc oat cake 4

I don’t often allow myself to make this kind of “snack cake.” Too much “evening out the slices,” if you catch my drift. (Can you see how I took out that little mini edge so it would be straight? Ha.) By the…

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pretzel collage

My children really get bored with sandwiches and every night I’m scratching my head trying to figure out what to do for lunch.  I’ve started to get the boys more involved in packing their own lunch and rather than just a sandwich, I have a variety of items available.   I separate the items into different bins and label the bins – i.e. – chips /crackers,  snacks/ fruit  yogurt / cheese or miscellaneous.  The bins are either in my pantry or in the refrigerator depending on the item.  The bins kind of look like the picture below except the tags shown are far fancier thanlunch mine  – My labels are hand-written on a plain piece of paper and taped onto the bins.  Every morning I take all the bins out and put them on the counter and the boys pick items from each bin and put the item in their lunch bag.  I am surprised how much smoother my morning is with this simple organization tip.   Yesterday I had some extra time on my hands so I made some pizza dough in my bread machine and baked some pizza pretzels for this week’s lunches.  This recipe comes from an oldie but goodie recipe book called Canadian Bread Machine Baking with Roxanne McQuilkin.  When I first bought my bread machine I learned that there is a difference between Canadian and American flour and most bread machine recipe books are written with US measurements that doesn’t always work with Canadian flour.  Roxanne wrote this book with that thought in mind and all of her recipes are tested with Canadian flour.  Below is the recipe from Roxanne’s book for Pizza Pretzels.  The dough for this recipe is made with both whole wheat and white flour making it a healthier choice.   If you have any pizza sauce around, put some in a small container so your child can dip the pretzels in pizza sauce making it a complete snack!

15 – 20 pretzels


All-Purpose flour            1 1/2 cups

Whole wheat flour        1 1/2 cups

Chopped Pepperoni    1/3 cup

Salt                                     1 1/2 tsp

Dried Oregano               1 tsp

Garlic powder                 1/2 tsp

Margarine or oil             2 tbsp

Water                                1 1/4 cups

Yeast                                 2 tsp

(Yeast for bread machines)



Egg white                                    1

Water                                           1 tsp

Cut up Mozzarella Cheese   1 1/2 cups


Prepare dough using the dough ingredients.  I always start with the water and work my way up to the top of the ingredients ending with the yeast.

Grease baking sheets, cut cheese in thin pieces, small enough to fit on the narrow pretzel surface.

Knead dough a few times.  Flour large chef’s knife and cut dough in 10 or 15 equal pieces.  Shape each piece in log  (8″) long, by rolling between floured hands or on floured surface.  Twist logs in pretzel shape and place on baking sheet(s).

Brush pretzels with oil, cover and let rise in warm place until double in size, about 40 minutes.  Brush tops of pretzels with beaten egg and water.  spread cheese over the tops.

Bake in preheated 400 F oven for 10 to 12 minutes until brown.  Watch them as thinner pretzels cook more quickly and the cheese can make them burn easily.

Fill them in one of your lunch bins and voila there is plenty of variety to choose from for an exciting lunch!

Picture of bins comes from:

Get Organized: Make Packing School Lunch Easy

You can still purchase this book on Amazon:

If you ever see this book at a thrift store or at a garage sale – grab it – the book is  a great resource for bread machines and the book contains wonderful recipes from bread, dough, sweet rolls and even dog biscuits!


These look adorable – recipe taken from Glorious Treats – check them out for more awesome recipes..

Candy Corn Krispie Treats

Traditional rice krispies treats get a festive update for Halloween.

Yield: 16 servings/wedges


For the yellow ring
4 1/2 cups rice krispies cereal
5 cups mini marshmallows
3 tablespoons butter

For the orange ring
2 3/4 cups rice krispies cereal
3 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
2 tablepsoons butter

For the white center
2 cups rice krispies cereal
2 1/2 cups mini marshamallows
2 tablepsoons butter

Yellow food coloring
Orange food coloring


Assemble your ingredients and gather 2 large bowls (one must be microwave safe), two rubber spatulas, two 8″ cake pans and non-stick cooking spray.

Also, have a stick of butter out, which you will need to use to grease your hands as you handle the krispie treat mixture.

Spray the cake pans with non-stick spray and set aside. Also, lightly spray two rubber spatulas with cooking spray.

For the yellow ring-
Add 5 cups mini marshmallows and 3 tablespoons butter to a large, microwave safe bowl.

Microwave the butter and marshallows about 3 minutes, or until warm and very puffy.

In another large bowl, measure 4 1/2 cups rice krispies cereal.

Carefully remove marshmallows from microwave and add yellow food coloring (I used 2 drops of yellow Americolor gel).

Stir the melted marshmallows, butter and coloring until smooth and fully combined. Immediately, pour the marshmallow mixture into the bowl with the cereal. Use an oiled spatula and stir quickly until fully incorporated.

Divide yellow rice krispie mixure between the two cake pans, and use your hands to create a “ring” around the inside edge of the cake pan (as shown below), about 1 1/2 inches wide. Rub a bit of butter on your hands as necessary to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands. Work quickly, as the mixture is more difficult to mold as it cools.

Wash your bowls and spatulas and repeat the same process with the ingredients for the orange ring, and then the white center.

Once your three colors are pressed into the pans, allow to fully cool and set, at least 30 minutes. When you want to cut the triangles (candy corn shapes), flip over your cake pans onto a cutting surface, and tap pan on cutting board to remove krispie treat round. Cut the round large round in half, then quarters, then cut each quarter in half.

To add a cookie stick, or paper straw (as shown), first create a hole with a wooden skewer.

General recipe by Kelloggs. Candy corn idea and proportions by Glorious Treats.