Monday, April 30, 2012

Delicious Salmon and Spinach Quiche

Hi everyone!!

How's every little thing going? 

Life has been crazy busy for me this week - and it's only Tuesday! Because of that, I was inspired to share one of my all time favourite busy night recipes for a delicious (and super easy) salmon and spinach quiche.

Watch the step by step video here and then pop over to the printable recipe to get the goods!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 1 prepared Pillsbury pie crust
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup well drained and thawed frozen spinach
  • 1 well drained tin sockeye salmon
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 3 slices processed or 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  1. Mix the eggs, salmon, spinach, mushrooms, green onions, salt and pepper together in a large bowl.
  2. Pour into the pie crust.
  3. Top with cheese and bake in a 375 oven for 45 minutes. 
  4. Check on the quiche at the halfway point. If the pie crust is browning to much, cover the crust portion with tin foil and continue baking.



Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

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An American in Paris - Featuring Bread Baking Expert Ian Chin

Good morning everyone and welcome to another installment of "Monday Meet my Experts!"

I am thrilled and excited to introduce you today to Ian Chin - my very good friend in the YouTube world and my teacher/mentor in the world of breads and fine baking. 

I asked him today if he would share a little "slice of life" if you will about some of his memories and experiences of living and learning in France. If you would like to learn more about baking from Ian, subscribe to his wonderfully witty and informative You Tube channel The Baking Chin,


J’aime beaucoup le pain -- I like bread. I like eating it and baking it and smelling it. Having studied in Paris, I can easily say that going to bakeries, or boulangeries, was one of the highlights of the journey. The French really love their bread and they will tell you if the bread is of good quality or not. Bluntly. It is of course their right as French citizens or something of the sort.

I was located on the 15th arrondisement, so that means it was residential area. There were many locals, so there were many bakeries. I was going to pastry school at Le Cordon Bleu and in between classes I would go to bakeries and coffee shops. I still did not know if pastry school was “for me,” so much of the time I would wander around the different bakeries, aimlessly. It was pleasant going to see all the, boulangeries and pâtisseries, with golden, long baguettes and round, rustic country loaves.

 Sometimes (if the bakery said “boulangerie” and “pattiserie”) located in front usually, there were pastries; Colorful macarons, fruit tarts, chaussons aux pommes (apple turnovers), gateaus, cakes, croissants, and more! It was a marvel to see and also a marvel that it all was not too expensive. A normal baguette parisenne, was only 90cents in euros, or about $1.30. Normally, I preferred the baguette de tradition, which was made with natural levain, or wild yeast, like a sourdough, but all the breads were fantastic. And I certainly went to many fantastic bakeries.

 The bakery I most went to was the one that was near to my apartment. It was a pretty average place, but it had a certain charm. I cannot remember the name, but it was near Rue de Dantzig. They had the obligatory items -- baguettes, bâtards, round loaves, oval loaves, country loaves. They had various tarts. No cakes, not that I remember at least. I remember having a very good tarte a l’orange there. It had whole, candied orange slices! Rind and all! Certainly the first orange tart I ever had that in that fashion. It was slightly bitter, but in a good sense, and it certainly had that lovely zesty orange taste  in abundance.

I used to talk to the boulangère (or “the baker’s wife”) other there that used to mind the storefront. Usually we would talk about bread and pastry and America and our cats. One day I told her that my gâteau basque in school did not turn out well. She told me that, “boulangerie et pâttiserie est dûre” that “pastry and baking is hard” and one really must want to do it. However, she said that it is very good “si vous aimez faire ça”, if you like to do it. She was right. Baking is hard sometimes, especially in a professional setting, but I do like it. I thought pastry school would stop me from liking to bake. It didn’t. I still like baking and I still like bread -- perhaps even more so than before. Pastry school was “for me.”

Often we hear stories about how Paris changes people’s lives and before I didn’t believe that. I still don’t believe it most of the time, as it is a sort of romanticized cliché of the film business. However, it did teach me that I am not horrible at baking and moreover that, even though it is true that baking is dûre, I still do like baking, and I suppose I have a “passion” for it. I still aime beaucoup le pain.

 Thank you Ian! It was wonderful to experience a piece of Paris with you. 

In the meantime, Ian shared an easy and forgiving recipe with me for a French flat bread called  Fougasse. 

I made it for my bookclub last Friday evening, and then, on Ian's recommendation, I used the recipe to make pizza for Sunday lunch. 

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cocktails and Gossip - Robert Irvine and Mario Batali

Hey everyone, it's Saturday - and you know what that means! It's time for another round of cocktails and gossip - this week featuring one of my all time favourite drinks for the beach: Electric Blue Lemonade - and the skinny on a few foodie related scams including a famous one perpetrated by Robert Irvine.

Irvine, who reminds me of a buff version of Simon from Alvin and the Chipmunks...

 is reported to have been rather imaginative in coming up with his original Food Network bio.

When he first came onto the Foodie Celebrity scene, Irvine boasted a resume that included claims he was a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, had a degree in food and nutrition from the University of Leeds, and had worked on the wedding cake for Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

But when an article in the the St. Petersburg Times disputed most of Irvine's assertions, the Food Network pulled his biography from its website and fired him in 2008 as host for the show Dinner Impossible - replacing him with Michael Simon of Iron Chef America. 

As a person who once told a guy I was trying to impress that I played honky tonk piano and taught tennis lessons to underprivileged children, I am not throwing any stones - we do what we do - but I will say, it's interesting how quickly he was forgiven by The Food Network.

In 2009 he was re-hired to host Dinner Impossible, began an offshoot series called Restaurant Impossible, and then went on to do The Worst Cooks in America with Anne Burrell.

Which makes me wonder... even though I was outed at a party one night when an over eager piano lover exclaimed "I wish somebody could play this!" and the guy I was dating shouted "Lyndsay can play!" (People, my journey to the piano that night was like Dead man Walking) though I played an up tempo, two finger version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, perhaps there lies, still, the possibility that he doesn't think I'm insane.


A girl can dream.

Speaking of Anne Burrell, though, I couldn't dredge up any gossip on her that was cocktail worthy - but I did, however, find a little tidbit about her former mentor Mario Batali and his business partner, evil eyed Joe Bastianich.

Batali just settled to the tune of 5.25 million dollars, in  a case that went to New York Federal Court where 117 waiters, captains, servers and busboys sued him and Bastianich.

According to the complaint, the workers say these restaurant owners took their hard-earned tips — in some cases as much as 5 percent of the nightly wine sales — to supplement their own profits.

 To that I say, throw your cocktails down!

I may have taught some phony tennis in my day, but stealing from the people who work for you - that is just wrong.

And its interesting too because I have never liked Batali - or Bastianich for that matter - chiefly because they both come across as incredibly arrogant.

On the other hand, I must admit - as Food Network chefs go - Batali would be among the first I would want to cook for me if I was, you know, incredibly wealthy and could hire him for the evening.

Barring that, I'll just have to stick with making my own cocktails.

Watch my step by step how to video here.


Add 2 oz of lemonade or lemon sweet and sour mix to a cocktail shaker, top with 2 oz of vodka, 1.5 oz blue cureaco, and 8 ice cubes.

Shake well. 

Fill a highball glass with crushed ice and strain the drink into it. Top with 7 Up.

Cheers everyone!   

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Ideas for Throwing a Dinner Party - Foodie Friday!

Hey everyone, it's Foodie Friday! The day we make restaurant quality meals and serve them at home, and today I'm excited to tell you, my book club is coming to dinner. Those who have been around the blog awhile know what this means: An over the top dinner party where the host pulls out all of the culinary stops! And today I will not disappoint...

Bacon and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Bundles with Sherry Jus

On the menu:

Brie and Chutney Phyllo Bundles with Proseco

Bread: Fougasse

Main: Bacon and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Bundles

Gruyere Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans Almondine
Arugula Salad

And for dessert:  Pina Colada Parfaits!

Here's something to watch while I cook ;)



Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

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ps... We read The Hunger Games ;)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ice Cream as a Sweet and Savoury Sauce for Meat? WHAT IF??

Hi everyone!

It's time for my first installment of WHAT IF - a blog series where I put together one or two unlikely ingredients and try to make a little magic.

Since becoming interested in the world of food contests, I've noticed how difficult it can be to come up with new and innovative ideas - not to mention make them tasty - and I've seen some pretty wild combinations of ingredients out there!

So I decided to jump onto the wild side and ask you this first following question...

What if I used ice cream to make a cream sauce... for meat?

Click play to find out and if you're brave enough to give it a try, the printable recipe can be found HERE.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How a Pork Tenderloin Saved My Life Part 11 - Meeting and Greeting

When last we left the story, our heroine (aka yours truly) made her way to Toronto for the live cook off in The Real Women of Philadelphia Canada online cooking competition!


That first evening when myself, and the 13 other finalists arrived in Toronto, Kraft Foods Canada and Eqal (the production company producing The Real Women of Philadelphia) arranged to have us all meet for dinner at the hotel.

In this brave new online world it's a surprising experience to meet people you virtually already know, and I never fail to be amazed that our sense of people online - who they are and the energy they bring - is always spot on.

People who still live under the illusion that real and lasting friendships cannot be born and carried out online have simply never had the experience - we are energy beings after all, and this is just another way of exchanging electrons.

Dinner that evening was a celebration. Many of the women brought gifts to share with the group consisting of beautiful home made cookies, bath salts, and kitchen tools - all lovingly put together, and though we had a cook off to contend with the next day, I don't recall being nervous. It had stopped being a competition for me long ago and I was in it at this point to have the time of my life.

After dinner we were advised by Eqal's producer to get to bed early and try to get some sleep as we had a big day ahead and an early morning call time - which in this case was 7 am. We were also advised to put together several changes of clothing in a variety of different colours and the next morning, the group of us met outside the hotel feeling like celebrities.

For someone who spent the better part of her childhood lip synching to Sean Cassidy records for legions of imagined adoring fans, I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that this was a good feeling indeed.

We climbed into assigned transport vans not really knowing what the day was to bring and arrived about 30 minutes later at the headquarters for KRAFT Foods Canada!

From there we were whisked into a room where we were introduced to a team of executives and food industry professionals who already knew and loved us - remember, we had been posting videos of ourselves and updates about our lives for months. If anyone has ever seen the movie The Truman Show starring Jim Carey, I have to admit, that's a little bit how it felt, and I was glad, nonetheless that my online activity has always mirrored exactly who I am in person.

After being welcomed and given preliminary information about the day (we would be cooking off in KRAFT Kitchens!!) Food Network Host and renowned chef, Anna Olson, entered the room - and to say we were all starstruck would be an understatement.

But that ended soon because Anna Olson is one of the most down to earth, real people anyone could ever meet and soon we were all laughing and joking like old friends. So much so that the production crew shared afterward that they were surprised by how long Anna stayed - apparently they had never experienced a celebrity who was that open and willing to get to know people.

In the meantime, the tension was slowly beginning to build, and though I wasn't nervous about the contest itself, my biggest fear was that I would make a fool of myself in front of Anna and all my peers - or worse, that I would make something in the cook off that everyone hated.

But there was no turning back now...


Stay tuned next week for the cook off!

If you've missed the other installments and want to catch up, they can be found HERE.

For another delicious Philadelphia Cream Cheese inspired recipe, check out my step by step instructions for Creamy Seafood Lasagna!  And be sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel CHARMED!

Monday, April 23, 2012

How to Host a Gluten Free Dinner Party - Monday meet the Experts

It's Monday people, and you know what that means!

It's time to bring forth another one of my foodie experts and I am honoured today to introduce you to  Jeanine Friesen from the popular website The Baking Beauties.

As the  Kitchen Witch's guest expert on gluten free baking, cooking, and recipe development, I know you will get a lot out of her tips for entertaining and cooking for friends who are gluten intolerant!


Hi everyone, my name is Jeanine. I author The Baking Beauties, a blog which is chock-full of gluten-free recipes.

Lyndsay called out to me last week to ask for help with a gluten-free dessert for a cocktail/dessert event she was hosting. I gave her the recipe for Pina Colada Parfaits, which I thought not only fit quite well with her theme, but was also naturally gluten-free.

Lyndsay was going to be hosting someone with gluten intolerance, and I know how difficult that can be. Or at least how difficult that can seem.

However, when you take a step back, you realize there are a number of things you can do that will make hosting a breeze.

1. First off, stick with naturally gluten-free foods. Gluten is in wheat, rye and barley, and anything that contains those ingredients. But, if you stick with fruits, nuts and cheese, you have naturally gluten-free foods that your guest can enjoy.

2. Try to stay away from processed foods, as those have a higher chance of either containing gluten, or having been cross-contaminated in the manufacturing process. Cross-contamination is when an item does not contain gluten, but may have come into contact with it during the manufacturing process.

3. Be sure to read the labels on all packaged foods, like nuts & candy, to see if it may have come from a facility that also processes wheat. Those are items you want to stay away from. Oats are also to be avoided unless they are certified gluten-free. Regular oats have also been cross-contaminated from the fields through the processing.

4. If you do decide to bake something, like peanut butter cookies, flourless chocolate cake, or Nutella cake, which are all naturally gluten-free, be sure that the containers you are scooping from are new containers. If you use an open container, you may have gotten bread crumbs in it by double dipping your knife into the container when making yourself a sandwich.

5. Be sure to use freshly scrubbed bowls, spoons, measuring cups and baking pans when preparing your baked treat. If you use them for baking with wheat flour, they may still have trace amounts of gluten if they were not properly cleaned the last time you used them.

6. Always use new containers, and new margarine, and let your guest know that you went that extra step, they will appreciate it. If you are still feeling stumped, please don’t let someone’s restrictive diet stop you from inviting them over. If you just don’t know what to serve them, you can ask them to contribute to the evening by bringing a dish that they can enjoy. I know I don’t mind being asked to bring some baking when we get together with friends.

 Please stop by my blog, The Baking Beauties, for more simple gluten-free treats that anyone can make.

And now, let's see how Lyndsay does making my Pina Colada Parfaits!


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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cocktails and Gossip - Guy Fieri and Watermelon Mojitos

We began our inaugural week of Cocktails and Gossip with Anthony Bourdain - so who better to follow up with than another Food Network celeb he has been critical about - Guy Fieri?

Described as one of the "Ten things Anthony Bourdain and David Chang hate" Fieri has taken heat over the years for everything from being the second season winner of Next Food Network Star to rolling pork into rice and calling it sushi.

But the latest scuttlebut is far more damning because Fieri, a self proclaimed bad ass, is also rumoured to be sexist, racist, and homophobic.

According to David Page, the former creator of DDD in a piece titled Diners, Drive Ins, and Disasters - after the show ran a few seasons, its host became more and more demanding.

From the original article written by Gregory Pratt:

"As his star power grew, Fieri stopped returning Page's phone calls. When NBC hired Fieri to film the primetime game show Minute to Win It, Guy started canceling shoots with Page. A posse of friends—a bawdy band of homeboys with names like Gorilla, Kleetus, and Dirty P.—trailed Guy everywhere, and his manager, Tom Nelson, took to calling himself "the consigliore." The group became known as the Garlic Mafia, and Fieri styled himself as the mob boss."

 You have to protect Guy from all of his poop jokes," Page says. "Anytime any woman mentioned 'cream,' Guy went into a sexual riff. When cutting the show, you had to tell the editors to watch Guy's eye line, because it's always on breasts."

Fieri also needed protection from homosexuals, or at least advance warning. Early in the show's run, Page got a phone call from Fieri, who'd just walked out of a restaurant in a huff.

"Guy had decided that the two men running the restaurant were life partners," Page remembers. "He said, 'You can't send me to talk to gay people without warning! Those people weird me out!'"

From then on, show researchers were required to note any indications of homosexuality detected during pre-interviews. 

It should also be noted that while I was doing research to put this together, the theme that Fieri can be rude and insensitive came up several times from a few different sources - however, I also read that he is driven, loyal to his friends, and was very successful in the restaurant industry long before Next Food Network Star - for this reason, I shy away from believing anything I read or see unless I'm actually privy to it in person.

Shows can be edited, disgruntled ex partners can say things, and in the court of popular opinion it is very easy to be convicted as guilty simply because someone said so.

And so, I'm wondering what others think?

Do these rumours hold any weight - and if they do, does it matter? If you found out tomorrow Guy Fieiri was every negative thing that has been said about him, would you still watch Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives?

In the meantime, how about a cocktail?

Today's recipe for Watermelon Vodka Mojitos can only be described as Just. That. Fabulous.

Click here for the printable recipe or visit my step by step how to video.

As always, have a happy Saturday!

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Caribbean Jerk Style Oven Roasted Chicken ~ The Kitchen Witch ~ Easy Recipes

Do you remember back in the day when the thought of staying home on a Friday night was akin to slow and painful torture? When wanting to see and be seen, schmooze, flirt, and trip the light fantastic (did I just date myself?) was everything, and sitting at home with nothing but the TV and a bag of chips was about as depressing as it could get?

If anyone had told me then that 20 years later my idea of the perfect Friday would involve flannel pajamas, home cooking, and Netflix I never would have believed it. But here we are.

It's both strange and wonderful, the passage of time and though I will look back with forever fondness on my "salad days" I'm happy, now, to be exactly where I am. And exactly where I am is all about working hard and coming home - and when I get there, I want all of the flavour I would find in a restaurant.

Like today's recipe for Oven Roasted Jerk Style Chicken.

This incredibly easy recipe will result in moist, flavourful chicken every single time. The perfect meal to put together after a long hard week for yourself or for friends. And don't be put off by the color of the marinade - it will be dark - but no matter. This will be one of the best chicken dishes you've ever had. I promise, or my name ain't The Kitchen Witch!!

Caribbean Jerk Style Chicken
To view the printable recipe click here  


  • 1 whole chicken cut into pieces
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 small jalapenos or 1 tbsp hot pickled banana peppers
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Generous splash spiced rum
  1. Put all ingredients into food processor. Mix on high for 15 pulses.
  2. Pour the marinade into a large ziplock bag. Add the chicken, mix well, and marinate overnight or for at least two hours.
  3. After the chicken breasts have marinated, place on a parchment lined sheet and bake in a 350 oven for one hour, or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165. Turn twice while roasting.


Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Preparing a Vintage "Sunshine Brunch" - A Cherry Hill Blog

The following is the third installment of my "Taste of Nostalgia Cherry Hill Blogs," where our heroine, Amanda Fitzpatrick, writes letters home to her mother from the small town of Cherry Hill Saskatchewan in 1947.

January 19, 1947

Dear Mother,

So much has happened since the last time I wrote I don't even know where to begin!

I'll start by telling you everyone is well - though it was touch and go last week with all of us down with the flu.

One would think being married to the town doctor would come in handy during such a crisis, but Paul was literally run off his feet with his waiting room packed to the rafters most days.

I, in turn, relied on the remedies you taught me: Vicks Vaporub; rubbed on the chest, throat, and bottoms of the feet - socks on, if you please - plenty of fresh squeezed orange juice, and a big pot of your famous chicken soup with garlic to ease the sniffles.

Within a few days we were all right as rain and I was raring to get onto my next excitement!

Paul's best chum from medical school, Denis Cardin and his wife Sophie, were in Regina for a wedding and I invited them both to brunch.

Truth be told I've been on pins and needles ever since you sent me The Hostess Book last September for my birthday. It was filled to the brim with the most darling ideas for entertaining.

And who better than a chic couple from Montreal to pull out all the stops for?

According to The Hostess Book, the omelet is the latest thing in smart entertaining and I became quite transfixed with preparing perfectly fluffy eggs as well as to set the most lovely table in the theme of "Sunshine" for the big day.

There was plenty of freshed squeezed orange juice, brown eggs from Mr. McGorman's farm, and hot flavourful coffee bubbling away on the stove compliments of the lovely corningware coffee perk you and father gave us as a wedding gift.

Remember those sweet little napkin rings that grandmother gave me?

Well they were just the thing for my festive sunshine brunch!

The omelet, on the other hand, was an entirely different story.

While the Hostess Book made the whole affair seem so elegant and easy, the actual cooking of an omelet is anything but and I was terribly willy nilly in my approach.

I won't tell you how many of Mr. McGorman's eggs ended up as scrambled egg dinner for Paul and the children while I practiced, but suffice it to say I was well into my second dozen by the time I perfected my technique.

However, practice does makes perfect, and the end result was so lovely I know you would have been proud.

Most wonderful of all, though, was the reaction from Sophie and Denis. They couldn't have been more thoughtful or gracious.

Sophie flattered me by letting me know she would be replicating my sunshine brunch for her bridge group at home and commented several times on my creativity.

This from someone so terribly chic!

Her traveling suit and coat were so divine, the part of me who fights against my own sense of vanity and pride wished Mrs. Wilson might have stopped by to see the fine class of friends we associate with.

 Of course she didn't.

In the meantime, I will leave you with the omelet recipe as I am certain it is a meal both Daddy and the girls will love.

Your loving daughter,


Click the link to visit the next installment in my popular Cherry Hill series: Cottage Pie and a New Friend

Nouveau Omelet

  • 2-3 large eggs
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 diced button mushrooms
  • 1/8 cup diced red pepper
  • 1/8 cup diced onion
  • 1/8 cup diced Canadian bacon
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese
  1. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl. Whisk well and add a little salt and pepper.
  2. Saute the bacon and vegetables in 1 tsp olive oil in a non stick pan until bacon is cooked and vegetables are soft

3. Remove vegetables from pan. Set aside.
4. Return pan to medium heat, add the remaining butter and olive oil to the pan, add eggs and shake your pan a bit to spread them out evenly.
5. When the omelette begins to cook and firm up, but still has a little raw egg on top, sprinkle over the vegetables and the cheddar.

6. Using a spatula, ease around the edge of the omelet, then fold it in half
7. When it starts to turn golden brown underneath, remove the pan from the heat and slide the omelet on to a plate. Garnish with fresh parsley.


 For another version of a lovely upscale omelet the Cardin's would surely love, please enjoy today's video.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Linguini ai Frutti di Mare (Seafood Linguini)

This weekend my husband and I spent a beautiful afternoon by the seawall enjoying the scenery and picking up some fresh seafood on the docks.

Join me today on our lovely afternoon stroll, and then meet me back in the kitchen!

I'll show you how to put together a flavourful and versatile tomato based sauce that is beautiful when tossed together with pasta and your favourite seafood.

Click HERE for the printable recipe.

Check me out on YouTube! Like me on Facebook! Follow me on Twitter! and stay tuned for Cherry Hill tomorrow!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How a Pork Tenderloin Saved my Life Part 10 - Toronto Here I Come

If you're just tuning in, earlier installments of my adventures in the online recipe competition The Real Women of Philadelphia Canada, can be found HERE.


The next few months passed in a blur and though I was excited to have been selected as a finalist in the entree category of the Real Women of Philadelphia Canada, I was sad to see several of the women I had become good friends with - cooks I knew to be just as worthy as me - not going the next step to Toronto.

Although I knew several of them were deeply disappointed - and I fully understood why - none of them ever put me in a position where I was made to feel badly - though, truth be known, I did feel badly because a lot of heart and talent went unacknowledged.

This is the heartbreak of taking chances.

All I could do now was honour the process and give myself permission to be happy. I had worked hard for this and had come a long way since the Philly Nibblers and my "Hello Candice" blunder.

So with my bags packed, and my newly manicured acrylic nails crossed, I got on a plane one early afternoon in July and flew toward what I hoped would be a whole new beginning.

When I arrived in Toronto I made my way to the airport shuttle.

I was told there would be a car waiting for me and, small town girl that I am, assumed that meant my shuttle had been taken care of. However, no one knew anything about it and as I ran back and forth trying to look like a cool and unconcerned traveler, inside I was beginning to panic.

"What if I had been right all along and there had been some kind of colossal mix up?"

"What if I wasn't really a finalist?"

In retrospect I know how crazy that sounds - but ask anyone who lives with anxiety, the mind can be a tricky thing.

However, I managed to pull it together enough to remember that the person in charge of "talent" - Tom - had left me his cell number, and after three fumbling tries at punching it into my blackberry with the acrylic nails on, I made contact!

I can only imagine what I must have sounded like heavy breathing into the phone in the shuttle bay, but somehow he managed to make sense of what I was saying and explained that the car waiting for me was not a shuttle or a taxi but the airport limo.

Further to that, my driver let me know that the hotel I would be staying at "The Thompson" was one of Toronto's premiere locations.

Here is the lobby I walked into as I stepped out of the town car...

And in my beautifully appointed room

KRAFT Foods Canada had left me swag!

 It began to dawn on me that I wasn't in Kansas anymore...

Stay tuned next week for the Part 11 - the cook off!

For a little cream cheese inspiration, how about this fabulous recipe for Seafood Lasagna!