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Showing posts from 2015

Buffalo Chicken Wontons with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Wontons with Cool Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce. YES, PLEASE!

I have to tell you a little something about myself. I love finger foods. Tapas, appetizers, party foods, nibbles, canapes, Dim Sum. Whatever you want to call it, this is my kind of food. I just love to have lots of different bites of food rather than one big bowl of anything. Variety is the spice of life, or so they say.

Buffalo chicken wontons are a nice little spin on the traditional pork wontons, which also happen to be one of my all-time favourite foods. I mean, you really can't go wrong with buffalo chicken anything. I just love that combo of spicy buffalo sauce with cool blue cheese dip. That is a match made in heaven, if you ask me.

Buffalo Chicken Wontons with Blue Cheese Dip

Blue Cheese Dip:

1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup mayo
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
freshly ground black pepper

Combine all in ingredients in food processor. Process for a few seconds, until blended…

Spicy Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing

A tangle of rice noodles and crunchy veggies tossed with a spicy peanut dressing. This is a light, refreshing salad that would go well with grilled chicken , shrimp, or pork skewers.

I really enjoy Thai food -- it is very fresh and vibrant, often spicy, perfectly balanced flavours and textures. It is the kind of food that just makes you feel good.

Research has shown that spicy foods can make you happy. When you eat capsaicin ( this is what makes chili peppers spicy), your brain thinks that you are in pain which causes your body to release "feel good" endorphins. Hmmmm... Interesting.

Spicy Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing

1/2 lb. rice stick noodles
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
4 oz. snow peas, strings removed and julienned
4 oz. cucumber, julienned
3 green onions, sliced thinly
1 cup thinly shredded cabbage, red or green
4 oz. dry roasted peanuts, chopped

Peanut Dressing:

6 Tbsp. all natural peanut butter
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
juice and zest of one lime
1 1/2 Tbs…

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

Beef short ribs are a tough, relatively inexpensive cut of meat that are transformed into the most tender, melt-in-your-mouth, crazy, out-of-this-world,delicious bites of food you will ever experience. The secret is to braise the short ribs in a flavorful broth and to simmer for hours until they are so tender you won't even need a knife. I like to cook these the day before serving, as they taste even better the next day.

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
serves 4

olive oil
4 large or 8 small, bone-in  beef short ribs
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
4 tomatoes, peeled and seeded, or 1 small can tomatoes
1 whole head garlic, peeled and separated
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dry mustard powder
2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire
dry red wine, about 1/2 the bottle
2 cups beef stock
salt and pepper, to taste


Pulse carrot, onion, and celery until finely chopped. In…

Homestyle Ham and Bean Soup

Is there anything better on a freezing cold day than a delicious bowl of homemade soup? I mean, really! It's the ultimate comfort food. When I was a kid, my favorite non- homemade soup was Campbell's French Canadian Pea soup. This ham and bean soup reminds me of that. It tastes great the first day and even better the second and third day. I love to make a big pot of homemade soup and have it for lunch all week long.

Homestyle Ham and Bean Soup

8 -9 cups water
1 lb. dried navy beans, soaked in water overnight
1 large ham bone
1 med. onion, finely diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
1 bay leaf
pinch of thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
chicken stock concentrate, I use Better than Bouillon
leftover diced ham
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, optional
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pot add water, ham bone, soaked and drained beans, onion, carrots, celery, potato, bay leaf, thyme and garlic. Bring to a boil. Cover an…

Italian Sausage Meatball Minestrone Soup

I am a huge fan of homemade soup. This hearty soup is comforting and will warm your belly on a miserable day.

For the novice cook, I feel that making homemade soup is the perfect introduction into the world of cooking. In fact, the very first thing I ever cooked was a chilled cucumber soup, when I was 11 years old. In those days, my family used to go camping every year on Vancouver Island, near the town of Comox, BC. My dad loves to fish and this area is world renowned for salmon fishing. One evening we got ourselves dressed up and we went out for my first ever fancy dinner at a restaurant called The Old House. I still remember this meal like it happened yesterday: my younger brothers and I were on our best behaviour, the waiter even commented on how well behaved we were. I just remember that every bite of food I had tasted wonderful. My mom and I both started with a chilled cucumber soup. It honestly was the best thing I had ever tasted. My mom asked for the recipe from the chef and…

Homemade Pork Potstickers

My husband and I live in a fairly small Country/Western kind of town. A couple of years ago we moved from a large city with a population of 1.3 million to a charming Norman Rockwell kind of town with a population of approx. 23, 000. It was a bit of a cultural shock at first but we have grown to love it. It is so nice to get away from the noise, traffic and crime of a big city. That crazy homeless guy that used to camp outside our building and would swear at me every time I walked past him? I don't miss him one little bit.

Small town life is wonderful. I love that we are within walking distance to grocery stores, shops, library, rec-center, movie theater, bowling alley, and lots of quaint pubs and even a couple of Saloons.

Our local Saloon, of all places, makes the BEST potstickers. They serve them with a spicy chili oil and they are so good they should be illegal.

Anyway, one day I had a craving for potstickers and I decided to make some at home. The only problem was I did not ha…

Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Roasted Cauliflower

Spaghetti alla Carbonara is a classic pasta dish that requires only a few basic ingredients, comes together in minutes, and is so wonderfully sinful it should be illegal.

There are only a few ingredients needed for this amazing pasta dish - pasta, eggs, cured pork such as bacon or Pancetta, a hard aged cheese such as Parmigiano or Pecorino and plenty of freshly cracked black pepper. This dish is sooo much more than the sum of its parts. Steaming hot pasta is tossed with raw eggs and grated cheese, resulting in a luxuriously creamy sauce without the addition of any cream. I just love roasted cauliflower and I thought it would work beautifully in this dish. I also replaced the Parmigiano with an aged Asiago cheese as that is what I had on hand.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Roasted Cauliflower
serves 2-3


1/2 medium head cauliflower, cut into floretsolive oil3 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped1/2 small onion, diced2 cloves garlic, minced2 eggs1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, p…