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lentil soup

budget friendly lentil soupThe other day it was chilly outside (read: freezing!) and Mr. S wanted to know what was for dinner.  After spending 20 years together, there are some things we do in unison without ever thinking about it.  We both said at the same time we wanted soup for dinner.  A bag of lentils in the pantry along with Italian plum tomatoes and a need to use the Parmesan rind all screamed soup.   Lentil soup is an easy meal to make and their meaty texture will leave one feeling quite satiated. Continue Reading →

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what to do with leftover sour cream

sour cream dressing recipeWhen a recipe calls for a small amount of sour cream I feel my shoulders slump.  For me the thought of having to buy a container of sour cream for 2 tablespoons or even a cup seems like a such a waste; there’s always some leftover.  I could substitute it for yogurt but I would be in the same dilemma.  And then it occurred to me.  Why not make a dressing or dip?  It would also make good use of the coriander (cilantro)  I had in the fridge.  Continue Reading →

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devil’s food cupcakes

devil's food cupcakesDevil’s food conjures up something sinister.  We’re all familiar with deviled eggs, devils on horseback (dates wrapped in bacon), chicken alla Diavola (devil’s chicken) etc.  And according to What’s Cooking America, the term deviled is used to describe food that is dark, rich, chocolate, spicily piquant or stimulating.  Continue Reading →

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fried olives stuffed with cheese

fried olives stuffed with cheeseWhat is your favorite snack? Do you go back to the same one time after time or do you like to venture out and try new ones? If you have not tried fried olives, you must! They are a crunchy flavor bomb!  I’ve made these a few times now and each time it’s with a different stuffing.  I first stuffed the olives with blue cheese and while they were yummy, I felt the saltiness from the cheese was too much for my palate.  So, next I stuffed with sausage meat combined with cheese curds…whoa!  That was one amazing combo! Continue Reading →

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antipasto salad – a cinch to make

antipasto saladAntipasto (Italian – before the meal) simply refers to the dish that precedes all the others to come. It should be colorful allowing the senses to awaken and gets the palate ready for the meal that follows. It is there to whet the appetite and not be too filling. A typical antipasto dish consists of cured meats such as prosciutto, salami, coppa, speck, mortadellaContinue Reading →

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almond and sunflower seed butter

nut butter - easy to makebut·ter (noun) – a solid yellow substance made by churning cream and used as a spread or in cooking; a food made from cooked fruit or roasted nuts that have been ground up. 

We’re all familiar with butter made with cream but over the last few years there’s a burgeoning market using nuts and seeds.  While peanut butter is popular (I lived on peanut butter and jam sandwiches growing up), making your own nut and seed butter is a healthier alternative.  What’s most appealing for me is the limited amount of work required unlike the time I made my own almond milk.  Almond and sunflower seed butter is delicious and slightly sweet tasting.  Mr. S tried it and enjoyed it when spread on a celery stick.  That’s saying something given his dislike for peanut butter and celery.  Allergic to nuts?  Try using seeds such and sunflower or pumpkin.  Continue Reading →

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squash and parsnip soup

squash and parsnip soupSoup has been around for centuries and previous generations did not use a recipe. They simply dumped various ingredients into a pot to boil.  And each culture adopted its own variation with whatever was on hand.  For my readers who feel more comfortable using a list of ingredients, throw caution to the wind and be like our ancestors.  If you have vegetables looking as though they’re in need of rescuing, a soup is a perfect place for them and you’ll feel better knowing you used them instead of throwing them in the bin.  Continue Reading →

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pork belly bites – one helluva snack!

.pork belly bitesWell, hello 2016!  Whatever the days or weeks ahead have in store for me, I’m ready!  Mr. S and I spent Christmas in Calgary.  Over the holiday period I cooked in other peoples homes; one being my daughter’s (a first for me!), one at my cousin’s (in Edmonton) and the other at my daughter’s employers home.  I loved it and what I enjoyed most was how appreciative each was that I was in their kitchen cooking for them.  Continue Reading →

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linguine with clams (linguine alle vongole)

linguine with clamsThis is a busy time of the year with most of us running around doing last minute errands in preparation for the holidays.  When I’m short for time, pasta is my savior and the time it takes to cook it I can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes!  Toss in some clams and you’re experiencing a Venetian staple that started off as peasant food.  Clams have roughly the same protein and fat content as chicken but contain more vitamins and minerals.  Serve this delicious and light dinner with a side of salad, sit back, and relax. Continue Reading →

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maple glazed nuts – an edible gift

maple glazed nutsAnother edible gift from yours truly! Maple glazed nuts are super easy to make and a delectable hostess gift.  They’re perfect for casual entertaining or tossed in a salad.  Homemade edible gifts are always well received especially for those who are hard to buy for (i.e. teachers, employers).  Continue Reading →

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