Friday, 29 January 2016

Real Hot Chocolate

When my kids were little I often made hot chocolate using a homemade mix. As the kids got older and life got busier it was just one of the lovely things that went by the wayside, replaced by the convenient.

The other day I had a craving for chocolate but it was really humid out and I just didn't crave it bad enough to make me want to walk to the store. Then I remembered the tin of cocoa in the cupboard.

I had forgotten just how delicious homemade hot chocolate is. Here's the recipe I used . . .

Serves 2

2 tbsp and 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup and 2 tbsp white sugar
1/2 pinch salt
2 tbsp and 2 tsp boiling water
1-3/4 cups milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup half-and-half cream

Combine the cocoa, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn't scorch. Stir in milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between 2 mugs. Add the cream to the mugs of hot chocolate to cool it to drinking temperature.


Thursday, 28 January 2016

Pierced Navel

1 ounce peach schnapps
1 ounce vodka
1 dash grenadine
orange juice

Pour the schnapps, vodka and grenadine over cracked ice in a highball glass.  Add fresh orange juice to fill.  Stir briskly.  

Peach Cocktail

2-1/2 cups diced, fresh peaches
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp sugar
chilled ginger ale
fresh mint

Combine peaches, lemon juice and sugar.  Fill fruit cocktail glasses.  Add 1-2 tbsp ginger ale to each glass.  Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Serves 4.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Fuzzy Navel

1 ounce peach schnapps
orange juice
cracked ice

Pour the schnapps over cracked ice in a highball glass.  Add fresh orange juice to fill glass, stir briskly . . . enjoy.

Whole Radishes

Select firm red or white radishes.  Wash and scrub thoroughly.  Leave enough stem on to serve as a handle.  Wrap in a damp cloth.  Chill thoroughly in refrigerator.


Turnip sticks or thin slices of turnip which have been crisped in ice water make an excellent appetizer.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Stuffed Celery

Use only the tender white stalks showing no discolouration.  The inside stalks are preferable.

Wash and leave tips of leaves on stalks or remove leaves from coarser stalks.  Crisp in ide water.  Dry on paper towels before stuffing.

Use a pastry tube or a knife to fill grooves with processed cheese spread.

Garnish with chopped parsley, green pepper, chives, pimiento, or a dash of paprika.  Chill before serving.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Chicken Stroganoff

Chicken Stroganoff

Chicken breast cooked in a creamy tomato sauce with mushrooms.
4 servings
Preparation 15 min 
Cooking 40 min
310 calories per serving 


1 1/3chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into 1x5 cm strips400 g
3 tbspwhite flour (all purpose)24 g
2 tbspcanola oil30 mL
1onions, finely chopped200 g
2 tbspbutter, unsalted28 g
1 cupchicken broth250 mL
16button (white) mushrooms, thinly sliced220 g
2 tbsptomato paste30 mL
1/4 cupwhipping cream 35%65 mL
2 tspWorcestershire sauce 10 mL
1 pinchsalt [optional]0.1 g
 ground pepper to taste  

Before you start

Keep the serving plates in the oven at the lowest setting so they are warm when you serve.


  1. Cut the chicken meat into 1 X 5 cm strips. Coat with flour.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Sauté the finely chopped onion a few minutes until traslucent, then take it out of the pan and set aside on a small plate.
  3. Turn the heat up high, add the butter, and brown the pieces of chicken in the same pan. Add the warm brothto deglaze the pan. Put the onion back in. Season with salt and pepper. Start cooking gently, covered.
  4. While the meat cooks, prepare the mushrooms, slice them finely and add them to the pan after the chicken has cooked 20-25 min. Cook an additional 10-12 min.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the tomato paste with the cream and Worcestershire sauce. Add to the pan and cook over very low heat for 3-5 min, taking care not to let it boil. Serve on the warmed plates.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Lentil and Vegetable Soup

I love soup when it is cold outside.  I love all the flavours cooked together to make me happy.  This is a really simple and delicious recipe.

Lentil and Vegetable Soup

4 servings
Preparation 20 min 
Cooking 25 min
180 calories per serving 


7 tbspgreen-brown lentils (dried) 70 g
1leeks, thinly sliced 300 g
1 clovegarlic, minced or pressed 
1tomatoes, coarsely chopped 120 g
1 stalkcelery, cut into very small dices 70 g
1carrots, cut into very small dices100 g
2/3 cupbroccoli, cut into small florets80 g
5 tspolive oil25 mL
4 cupschicken broth, low-sodium1 L
1 pinchsalt [optional]0.1 g
 ground pepper to taste  

Before you start

It is not necessary to soak the lentils in advance.


  1. Rinse and drain the lentils, then set aside.
  2. Prepare the vegetables: finely slice the leek; mince or press the garlic; coarsely chop the tomatoes; chop the celery and carrot into very small dices (about 3 mm); cut the broccoli into small pieces (about 2 cm).
  3. In a pot, sweat the leek and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat about 3-4 min. Add the remaining vegetables, lentils, and broth, then bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 25 min or until the lentils are tender.
  4. Adjust the seasoning then serve.


The soup keeps up to 6 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Special Party Dip

This is one of my favourite dips . . . 

1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
2 Tbsp. cream
2 Tbsp. French dressing
1/3 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. grated onion
1/4 tsp. salt

Blend the cheese and cream until smooth.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Place in a serving bowl.  Serve with crackers, potato chips or veggies.

Shrimp Cocktail

Clean shrimp, removing black line from backs.  Chill.

Serve in lettuce-lined cocktail cups with cocktail sauce or highly-seasoned mayonnaise.  Finely chopped celery may be added.

Radish Roses

Cut down thin strips of red peel of radishes almost through to stems to form petals.  Place radishes in ice water.  As they chill the peel will curl back like petals.

Radish Fans

Select firm and long radishes.  With a very sharp, thin knife, cut thin slices crosswise almost through the radishes.  Chill in ice water.  The slices will spread fan-shaped as they chill.

Pepper Rings

Image result for pepper rings

Cut off tops of peppers.  Remove seeds and centres.  Cut crosswise into thin slices.  Crisp in ice water.  Dry before serving.

Ham and Onion on Picks

Spear small ham cubes and small pickled onions (or small stuffed olives or cubes of dill or sweet pickle) on picks.

Ham and Cheese on Picks

Alternate cubes of boiled ham and Swiss or American cheese on picks.

Green Onions

Trim washed green stalks, leaving about 3 inches.  Trim onion, removing roots and any loose "skin".  Chill in ice water.

Cucumber Slices

Peel cucumber.  Score it by running a fork lengthwise down the surface of the cucumber.  Cut the cucumber into very thin slices.  Chill in a tray of ice.  Drain and sprinkle lightly with chopped parsley.

Cheese and Onions on Picks

Place a 1/2" cube of cheese, a tiny slice of pickle and a tidy pickled onion on each pick.

Celery Curls

Cut small stalks or short pieces of celery lengthwise into thin shreds, cutting to within 1/2 inch of the leaves or end of piece.  Place in ice water to curl.

Salmon Croquettes

Salmon Croquettes

2 servings
Preparation 20 min 
Cooking 15 min
400 calories per serving 


2 tbspcanola oil, for the baking method30 mL
1 1/2potatoes300 g
1 1/2 tbsplemon juice, freshly squeezed1/2 lemon
2 tbspmilk, partly skimmed, 2%30 mL
3green onions/scallions, finely chopped45 g
1/4 tspcayenne pepper, or to taste1 g
200 gsalmon, canned, drained and crumbled
1 pinchsalt [optional]0.1 g
ground pepper to taste
1 tbspwhite flour (all purpose)8 g
1egg whites, beaten
2 tbspbread crumbs16 g

Before you start

These patties can be either fried or baked. The Nutrition Facts table on this page assumes that baking will be used.


  1. If using the baking method: Preheat the oven to 205°C/400°F. Lightly oil a baking dish with some of the canola oil (about one tablespoon). Alternatively, for deep-frying: Preheat a sufficient quantity of peanut oil to 175°C/350°F in an electric fryer or in a large skillet.
  2. Prepare the potatoes : Peel and cut them in half, then boil them 20 min until they are very tender. Drain well, then put them in a bowl and mash them until a smooth purée is obtained.
  3. Add the lemon juice, milk, chopped scallions, and Cayenne pepper. Drain the salmon, crumble it then add it to the bowl (including any small bones, if so desired, since they are a good source of calcium). Season with salt and pepper, then mix well.
  4. Prepare 3 shallow dishes: Put the flour in the first dish, beat the egg white in the second dish, put the bread crumbs in the third dish. Form the salmon mixture into small balls (about the size of golf balls), then flatten them slightly into patties. Roll the patties into the flour first, then into the egg white, and finally into the bread crumbs.
  5. Baking: Transfer the patties on the previously oiled dish, sprinkle with the remaining oil, then cook in the middle of the oven 12-15 min until golden-brown, turning them once. Deep-frying: Working in batches,deep-fry the patties about 5 min per side until golden-brown, then set them on paper towels to drain. Serve.

Chicken Cutlets a la Ferrer

Chicken Cutlets à la Ferrer

2 servings
Preparation 5 min 
Cooking 12 min
250 calories per serving 


1chicken breasts, boneless, skinless300 g
2 tbspbutter, unsalted28 g
2 sprigsrosemary, fresh10 g
1 tbspwhite flour (all purpose)8 g
1/4 cupwhite wine65 mL
1 pinchsalt [optional]0.1 g
ground pepper to taste

Before you start

Keep the serving plates in the oven at the lowest setting so they are warm when you serve.


  1. Slice the breast horizontally into very thin cutlets. Flatten these cutlets using a rolling pin or meat pounder.Coat with the flour.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the rosemary sprigs whole. Cook 2-3 min, then take them out.
  3. Add the cutlets and cook over medium heat 4 min. Turn, add salt and pepper, sprinkle with the white wine, cover, and cook an additional 3 min. Serve on the warmed plates.