28 June, 2012

Apple Pecan Salad

*Photo to come*

I've had so many great reviews about this salad and it's so easy to make and adjust to whatever you may have in your fridge that needs using up!  So let your creative juices flow! Here's to give you the basics:

  • Mixed Greens
  • Two type apples sliced (Red and Green are Pretty, I like the two types for taste.. not necessary though.)
  • Dried Cranberries (I've used dried apricots before as well)
  • Feta Cheese crumbled (I love the saltiness of feta, but Parm petal flakes (Costco) look and work great too)
  • Candied Pecans

Layering the above ingredients are the BARE BONES... It will always stand to impress but if you're looking to make a meal out of the salad, feel free to keep adding whatever your heart desires!

  • Green Onion thinly Sliced (I'm a cilantro nut and can also be a substitute)
  • Thin sliced Sweet Red Bell Pepper
  • Thin sliced cucumber
  • Roasted Whole Chicken or a Chicken Breast Sliced up (Add a dash of Cajun seasoning to kick it up to the next level of Greatness!) 
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries

... the rest is up to you.. :)

Dressing: Yield 1 Cup

  • 1/2 C. Olive Oil
  • 1/2 C. Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tbls. Sugar White or Brown
  • Dash of Salt and Pepper

Melt some butter in a pan to the point it becomes bubbly.  Toss your pecan in and a couple tablespoons of brown sugar. (I like to add a pinch of red chili flakes to give a little kick)  Coat the mixture and continue to cook till the sugar dissolves and starts to become gooey.  Remove from heat and let cool completely.  DONE!


08 March, 2012

Pavlova Dessert

Pavlova is a meringue dessert 
with a crisp crust and soft, light inside. 

Ingredients for Base:
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp vinegar

  • 2 cups whipped cream
  • Fresh fruit of choice

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Continue beating while adding sugar slowly, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Add vanilla and vinegar.  Beat until very stiff.  Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and spread mixture in a circle, slightly smaller than desired size.  Bake for 1 hour at 275 degrees F.  Turn oven off and leave in oven overnight or all day to dry.  Peel off paper.  Top with whipped cream (unsweetened) , fresh fruit and sprinkle with powdered sugar to garnish.  Kiwi, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are an excellent choice of fruit.  Be creative!
Pavlova is notorious for deflating if exposed to cold air, when cooking is complete it is left in the oven to fully cool down before the oven door is opened.
Pavlova is traditionally decorated with a topping of whipped cream and fresh fruit as desired.
Leftover decorated pavlova can be refrigerated overnight, but the dessert will absorb moisture and lose its crispness. Undecorated pavlova can be left overnight in the oven, or for several days in an airtight container, to be decorated when ready.

29 February, 2012

Slow-Cooker Chicken Soft Tacos

Tasty, little bit spicy but best of all you get a wonderful aroma in your home from using a crockpot!


  • I used 3 frozen Chicken Breasts 
  • 1/4 of a chopped Red Onion
  •  Handful of Cilantro with stems chopped up
  •  1/2 cup Chicken Broth
  •  Half a Lime squeezed and added into the pot,
  • 1 Tbs. Cumin Powder
  • 1 Tbs. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tbs. Taco Seasoning
  • Pepper & Salt if needed

Add all to your crockpot and cook at LOW for 6-8 Hrs or HIGH for 3-5 Hrs
For the last hour I chopped up the chicken into chunks and added a fresh sliced red bell pepper!

 Mango Avocado Salsa:

  • 1 Mango
  • 1 Avocado
  • Cilantro (including stems)
  • Other half of Lime
  • 1 tsp. Cajun Seasoning 
Chop into small pieces and serve fresh!

Assemble wraps and enjoy! We enjoy Sour Cream so I added that to the table as well! 

21 February, 2012

Lettuce Wraps

Sauce: (Used for garnish and for Chicken marinade)

  • Sm. Bunch of Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Fresh Red Chile
  • 1/2 Clove Garlic
  • 3 Heaping Tbls. Good Quality Peanut Butter
  • Soy Sauce (1-2 Tbls)
  • 1- inch piece of Fresh Gingerroot
  • 2 Limes (Zest & Juice)


  • 4 x Chicken Breasts or Thighs (Boneless)
  • Honey for drizzling


  • Dried medium size Chinese chow mein noodles
  • 3/4 cup unsalted raw cashews
  • 1/2 medium-sized red onion
  • 1 fresh Chile
  • Sm Bunch of Fresh Cilantro
  • Sweet Bell Pepper (I used a multi pack of mini red, yellow & orange ones)
  • 1-2 Tbls Soy Sauce
  • 1 Lime (Juice and Zest)
  • 1 tsp. Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp. Fish Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Honey (Drizzle on Cashews)

Sauce- Combine ingredients listed in the sauce into a blender or food processor and a small slug of water to create a smooth paste.  Season with Salt & Pepper to your taste!  Pour part of the sauce into a nice small serving bowl to have at the table for everyone to add extra onto their wraps.

Chicken-- Remainder of Sauce- (If you've got time, pour over your chicken and allow it 4-8hrs to marinade! (This time around I started dinner when dinner was dinner time, so I skipped and had David put the Thighs on the BBQ and only drizzled with honey and seasoned with Salt and Pepper in the end!  Still great!) The Chicken also does up SO PRETTY on skewers and BBQ!   When the Chicken is close to being finished - drizzle with honey and get some great color on the chicken! (Season with Salt and Pepper if desired)

Get your peppers and onion finely chopped, measure out your liquids.  Have ready to add to your cooked noodles.

Heat a med. size fry pan and get it on med. heat.  Add cashews (bash then up a bit to crush them into smaller chunks)... Once they get toasted, drizzle with Honey, toss them to coat and set aside. *** (They'll continue to get roasted in the hot pan so be sure to remove from burner so they don't burn!)

Follow Cooking instructions on noodle package, from my experience, DON'T overcook, they tend to cook REAL fast!  Season the water with Salt.  Drain and set aside.

Gently combine all into a serving bowl.

LETTUCE -- Romain split up and washed...!

10 February, 2012

Brandied Bread Pudding with Mango

An Amazing crowd pleaser of a dish!


  • 6-8 cups of 1 inch cubed Bread (I used 6 multi grain sandwich buns)
  • 2 Ripe Mangos, peeled, pitted and sliced into small chunks.. (Nothing fancy)
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half cream
  • 3 Lg Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Brandy
  • 1 Tbls Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup Butter, melted
  • Powdered Sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9-inch (ish) baking dish.

Wisk together your cream, eggs, brandy, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter.  Pour over cubed bread and mango. Gently mix to coat and let sit till liquid is absorbed.  Transfer into baking dish.

Bake 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Serve warm dusted with powdered sugar.

28 January, 2012

Tropical Coconut Thai

Very fresh tasting!  Can be Vegetarian or add Chicken, Shrimp (or both)  This time I used Shrimp because that's what I had!  I give credit to our good friend Ross B. for this fine dish! Thank-you!


  • Coconut Oil (Or Olive)
  • Leeks (2 Stocks)
  • 1 Can of Mandarins plus the juice
  • 1 Mango
  • Pineapple (I had some left over that I had chopped up the night before as a snack.. I had about 1 cup worth)
  • Red Pepper
  • Baby Bok Choy (I had spinach that needed to get eaten so I added that rather)
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk
  • 1 Cup Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 2 Cup Cooked Shrimp (Pre cook Chicken too if that's what you're using)

Heat oil and add sliced Leeks.. Cook until they soften and get some color.  Add the Can of Mandarins, Chopped Mango, Chopped Pineapple and Chopped Pepper.  Let simmer for just a couple minutes and then add your Chili Sauce & can of Coconut Milk.  Bring to simmer again and add your meat and fold in your greens just prior to serving so it keeps it's beauty!

**Serve with Vermicelli noodles (Pour boiling Water over the noodles and let stand for a couple minutes, drain and they're ready!  So EASY) or Rice


Chicken Curry Soup with APPLES

*PHOTO to come...

This is a great change in traditional soup!  Don't be afraid to try- It sounds a lot crazier than it tastes!

Butter & Olive Oil
Chicken Stock
Cooked Rice (Basmati is my favorite and whenever I have leftovers I pop it in the freezer in a Ziploc bag for recipes like this!)
Apple (I like using a couple of different types for different texture.. Green and a Red)
Chopped Cooked Chicken Breasts ( I pre cooked them on the BBQ)
Curry Powder
Half & Half Cream
Salt & Pepper

Again... Portion control... Depending on how much you're making...

Heat butter and oil in a pot and add chopped Onion, Carrot & Celery.  Cook until the onion has some color.  Add Curry powder, don't be shy.  (Sm pot approx. 2 Tbs)  Add your (water and powdered Chicken Stock), or (pre-made liquid stock).  Bring to simmer and add chopped Apple, Rice and Chicken.  Bring to Simmer again and add some Half and Half and Salt and Pepper to taste!

Served with fresh bread - (SOBEYS have my favorite!)

** Note- Can be made vegetarian by using Veg. Stock and No Chicken

25 January, 2012

Appetizers and what to do with Leftovers!

GREAT APPETIZERS! Warm Almond Crusted Goat Cheese Topped with Bruschetta and the other is Baked Feta Spinach Dip

For both appetizers i've used a french baguette.  Slice it and top with a bit of Olive Oil or Butter and broil till browned and crispy! Simple!

6 diced Roma Tomatoes
1 can Tomato Paste (1/2 cup)
1 sm Red Onion (1/2 cup)
Fresh Basil - More is Better! - Lg. handfull and then Chop.
Sugar (1 Tbs)
Balsamic Vinegar (1/4 cup)
Salt and Pepper
.... oh boy.. I'm a dumper...  Depending on how much you're wanting to serve...  Let try... Yields 3 cups.

Almond Crusted Goat Cheese:
Goat Cheese - Buy whatever size
Roll in Silvered Almonds B
Bake in an oven safe dish at 350 degrees for 15 min.

Feta Spinach Dip:
1 Package Cream Cheese (Room Temperture)
1/4 cup Mayonaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbs Lemon Juice
1 Tbs Minced Garlic
Whip until Smooth
Add Chopped Artichoke (1/2 cup) , Fresh Spinach (2 Cup) and Feta Cheese (1/2 cup)

I have a hand blender thing that I like to blend mixture into a chunky paste!  Place in a baking dish and bake at 375 degrees till warm and bubbly!

LEFT OVERS!  Here's a great option:

Combine Bruschetta and Spinach Dip and a can of tomato sauce in pan and heat through.  Cook your choice of pasta and mix together!  Top with crumbled goat cheese!

Tip for Pasta- Cook your pasta in Ocean like salty water to add flavor to your pasta.  Don't rinse your pasta... It washes away the starch that helps the sauce to stick to your pasta and not get all runny in the bowl.

Chocolate Pie

Chocolate Pie *-EASY-*

This I give credit to my Auntie Lois - (I THINK.... at least that's who I remember this recipe came from.. Correct me 'someone' if i'm wrong)  Either way- It's a great go to!  So delish!

3 Egg Whites
1/2 tsp Cream of Tatar
3/4 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Oreo Baking Crumbs
1/2 cup Chopped Pecans (or Walnuts)

1 cup Whipping Cream
1 Tbs Icing Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla

Meringue: Beat eggs whiles and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.  Add sugar gradually, beating until stiff.  Fold in crumbs and pecans (not too much!).  Pread into a greased 9 inch pie plate.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Topping:  Whip cream until stiff, adding sugar and vanilla while mixing.  Spread topping over COOLED pie.  Let chill 3 hours.  Crush Skor or Crunchie chocolate bar over top.

09 January, 2012

Prime Rib Dinner

Traditionally on Sundays the Torwalt family usually all tries to get together for a meal; this week I volunteered to have everyone in and attempt to bring the great and high standard taste of Prime Rib to the table! It worked!  Here's how it all went.

Bring your roast to room temperature before roasting.  Reason, you'll get a more even cooked roast. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. I then gave the meat a little love and rubbed the roast with the famous "Montreal Steak Spice".  (A must have in my pantry.) Place the roast in a roaster (use a roaster that's as close to the size of the roast so it doesn't loose all its juices) bone side down and fatty side up (do not remove excess fat.. it will save you from needing to baste your meat) and DO NOT cover roast. Put the roast in the oven at this temperature for approx. 30 min.  This will allow a nice crust to form on the roast and then turn the oven down and continue to cook at 350 degrees till desired wellness. 
Note:  Important to let your roast rest for 15-20 min. before you cut into it. This allows the roast to retain it's juices back to the center of the roast.  Also while it sits it will further cook approx. 5 degrees so don't leave it in till last min.  :)  While it sits it's a great time to get some traditional Yorkshire puddings in the oven... I intended to but my baby called for a feeding so I never that accomplished!... 

Keeping it simple is always my favorite.
My mother is law brought the bacon and boiled egg spinach salad. - Great classic which was a perfect complement to the roast and potatoes!

I chopped up Red Potato, Sweet Potato, Red Onion, and a couple Carrots (that I had to use up in my fridge) and added chopped Garlic and fresh Herbs.  Any work, I used Rosemary, Sage, Thyme and Basil..A little bit of my melancholy personality.. More is always better!  Melt some butter and pour over mix along with some olive oil.  Add Salt and Pepper... (Montreal Steak Spice too is wonderful!)

Mushroom Gravy:
In a saute pan combine olive oil and thinly chopped red onion, and sliced mushrooms - Fry until mushrooms shrink and onions start to caramelize.  I added at that point add some Red Wine Vinegar to de-glaze the goodness from the pan and I then added dash of some dry brown gravy mix (Costco) and some Chicken Broth and brought to a boil..  It naturally thickened a bit because of the gravy mix but a little flour could be added if you don't have the mix present.  Add salt if needed and pepper or... Montreal Steak Spice!  When the Roast is removed from the roaster you're left with more goodness that has stuck to the pan.. and your mixture into the roaster and scrape off whatever you can from the pan to add even more flavor to your gravy!  When transferring your gravy into a serving dish drain off any excess fat that settles on the top.

Next posts will be the dessert and the appetizers that took place that evening--- It was a gooood full food day and it made it best to share the good with those we love!

03 January, 2012

Taco Pie

I remember growing up my mom would make these by the dozen!  They're a great meal to make multiples at a time because they freeze really well and are a great meal to give to any family who may be in need of a hot meal! This dish is a unique take on a taco salad - a little more hardy though!

Ingredients Needed:  Yield 3, 9" Pies
  • 3 Frozen Deep Dish Pie Crusts
  • 1/2 lb. Lean Ground Beef - (Ground Turkey would be a great healthier option)
  • 1 lg. Yellow Onion
  • 3 Tbs. Taco Seasoning
  • 1 Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Can Tomato Paste
  • 2 Cups Corn Kernels
  • 1 Can Black Beans
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • Corn Chips

How To:
  1. Preheat Oven to 375 degrees.  
  2. Brown your beef in a large fry pan, add the onion and seasoning. Saute until onion softens.  
  3. Add the Tomato Sauce and Paste, Kernels and Beans.  Mix together and set aside.
  4. Crunch up your corn chips and place in the bottom of each (uncooked) pie crust just to cover evenly. 
  5. Fill crusts then with the beef mixture.  
  6. Smother the top of meat with sour cream.
  7. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  8. Top with more crushed corn chips.
  9. Bake for approx. 15-20 min.  (Until lightly browned)
  10. Let stand for a few min. before serving.  Slice like you would a pie!

Garnish with any or all of the following:
Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado, Green Onion, Blk. Olives, Sour Cream, Salsa, Lime and Cilantro