Recipe: Salmon Wellington

Honestly I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to make this dish. I swear I make salmon almost every Friday night and I regularly scour the internet for new recipes but for some reason, I’ve never made a Salmon Wellington before. Till now!!

I’m so glad I tried this recipe even though my “braiding” skills could use some improvement, however the results came out pretty decent. There’s no question that I will make this recipe again.

All you really need is a few ingredients and poof – you have a pretty elegant main course.

Recipe: Salmon Wellington (original recipe from www.simplyhomecooked.com)


4 (7 oz) salmon fillets
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, divided
1 shallot, chopped
1/4 cup white wine (I didn’t use any and it still came out delicious)
3 oz cream cheese
5 oz fresh baby spinach
2 tbsp plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 (1 lb.) package puff pastry
1 egg (for egg wash)


1. Season the salmon with salt and pepper to taste.

2. In a pan, heat butter, chopped shallots, and garlic over medium heat. Sauté until the shallots become translucent.


3. Bring the heat to high and add the white wine. Let the liquid cook out for about 5 minute, then add the cream cheese and sauté for 1 minute. (note: I didn’t add any wine)

4. Lastly, add the spinach, bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese. Sauté just until the the spinach softens.

5. Unfold the puff pastry onto a light floured surface and roll out the 2 sheets, then cut them in half. So you end up with 4 pieces.

6. Place each seasoned salmon fillet in the middle of each puff pastry sheet. Depending on the size of the fillet, you may need to roll out the puff pastry a little more or less. Leave about 2 inches around the edges.

7. Divide the spinach mixture into 4 equal parts and evenly spread it on top of the 4 fillets. Then brush the edges of the puff pastry with egg wash (1 egg + 1 tsp water).


8. Begin folding the the puff pastry over starting with the longer side. When folding over the short edges, brush more of the egg wash before folding.

9. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the salmon wellington seam side down.

10. Make crosshatch slits on top of the Wellington with a knife. Then brush with more egg wash. (ok I didn’t do this stop either – I did a braid).

11. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Final Result!! – As you can see, I braided it and didn’t make the crosshatch. I guess I was feeling creative. LOL

salmon-finalI served this along with a salad, vegetarian stew and couscous. The stew was prepared in the slow cooker while I was asleep. Oh how I love my Breville Rice Cooker which also has a function to “slow cook”.

salmon-side-dishesNaturally I had fun setting a “fall inspired” table.

salmon-tableHappy Cooking!!

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UNIQLO Updates…

I was super excited to receive an invite to the opening of the UNIQLO at Eaton Centre on Sept 17th. This store has apparel with Japanese values of simplicity, quality and longevity. Not to mention that everything I’ve bought from this store is COMFORTABLE.


When I woke up that morning, I knew exactly what I was going to the wear to the event. It was a no brainer – I was going to wear the dress that I bought at the UNIQLO Flagship store in NYC on Labour Day Weekend!!

I was eager to see if the dress was going to be on the racks in Canada and I was super eager to see the price.

Indeed, I found the dress and guess what? It was only $10 more than what I bought it for in NYC.  Here’s proof of the tag.  How awesome is that?


I bought two more dresses that night that I cant stop wearing. I’m positively crazy about this brand. The prices are perfect and I love their fashionably products  – sweaters, scarves, blouses etc.


Not to mention I was this stores’ first customer!


I will continue to be a happy customer as they are opening at Yorkdale Shopping Centre on Oct 20th and I only live 7 minutes away. Hip Hip Hooray.

Happy Shopping!!

For more information: 

Website: www.uniqlo.com

Twitter: @Uniqlo_Canada

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UniqloCanada/

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored blog post however all opinions are my own!

Now that I’m working full time, I try my best to get out of town during the long weekends. Therefore on the Thanksgiving weekend, I decided to head up north to see the beautiful fall colours. #smartmove.


On our drive up north we stopped into Bracebridge and Gravenhurst in search of butter tarts. As you can see from the photo…mission accomplished!!holiday-inn-butter-tart

Staying at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites® in Huntsville was a great decision so that we could really enjoy the long weekend.  Plus it was the perfect location as it’s just 30 minutes away from the entrance to Algonquin Park.  

But before booking, I became an IHG® Rewards Club member which is the largest guest loyalty program in the hotel industry!! When you like to travel like I do, these loyalty programs come in handy.

Here’s a few things I learned about the Holiday Inn Express® :

For starters, IHG®  (Intercontinental Group – which Holiday Inn Express is part of) has a unique program called: Winning In Sleep and I LOVE TO SLEEP.

IHG’s brands, are doing more for their guests to ensure they are well-rested. For example, here’s five Sleep standards that they have focussed on:

1. The bed


2. Noise levels

3. Temperature in room

4. Lighting in room

5. Cleanliness of the room

I also learned that the Holiday Inn Express®  has a Snoozapalooza program!
What is Snoozapalooza? On weekends between September 17 – December 18, Holiday Inn Express® hotels across Canada, the United States and Mexico will extend the hours of their Express Start™ breakfast bar from 7 a.m. – noon, and extend check out hours until noon on Saturdays and Sundays. Guests are encouraged to sleep-in. (gotta love it)

It’s pretty evident that the Holiday Inn Express® is committed to ensuring their guests get a good night sleeps.

Take a peek at these pillows!! Notice that the embroidery says: FIRM or SOFT


I also enjoyed this booklet in our room with more tips on how to get a good nights sleep.


Naturally we needed a good night sleep so we could take advantage of visiting Algonquin Park. I’m so glad that this is how we chose to celebrate Thanksgiving Weekend. It was truly a wonderful getaway with perfect weather, scenery and accommodations.


For More information

Website: www.holidayinnexpress.com.

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/hiexpress

Facebook www.Facebook.com/holidayinnexpress

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Because You Asked….

Often when I bake or cook, I find myself posting a photo of the “final result” on Facebook. I then receive comments like “Recipe, please!!”.

Then it occurs to me that I should blog about these recipes and not just post photos of the final result. Here’s two recipes that I tried recently that are definitely worth making!

Recipe #1: I saw this recipe somewhere on the internet (for a change) and decided it would make a great vegetable side dish for a meat meal that was being served over the Jewish New Year. Several of my facebook friends also made it and we all had winning results


Green Bean with Honey Tahini Glaze (recipe taken from www.MyJewishLearning.com by Leah Koenig)

1 Tablespoon Tamari or soy sauce
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 lb trimmed green beans
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons orange juice
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger

Preheat oven to 425. Spread beans in a 9×13-inch baking dish; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat beans evenly. Roast for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the tahini, honey, tamari, garlic, orange juice, and ginger in a small bowl.

Remove beans from oven. Pour honey-tahini mixture over beans and toss to coat evenly. Return beans to oven and roast for 10-12 additional minutes, until brown and starting to shrivel. Transfer to serving plate and sprinkle with additional salt and pepper to taste.

PS I steamed the green beans and then poured the tahini glaze over them and it was still delicious.

Recipe #2: Apple Crisp Cookie Cups (original recipe on this video by www.delish.com). This video showed up so many times on my facebook feed that I just had to try it. Guess what? I will be making it again!!


This week, I’m going to make something I’ve never made before. Once again, I found it on Pinterest.

So stay tuned for a more detailed blog post about my experience making Salmon Wellington!


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About a month ago, I attended a media dinner at the recently opened Captain’s Boil which is located at 671 College St. This is the 5th location for this restaurant chain, which I know will continue to grow as it’s such a fun concept. The location is uniquely design to resemble the hull of a ship and I must admit that the decor caught my attention.

captains - decor

The invitation to this event also caught my attention as I simply adore seafood. Plus I liked the idea of eating seafood in Little Italy!! I don’t know why …but I love all varieties of seafood – lobsters, oysters, mussels, shrimp, clams etc.

The concept at this restaurant is that you eat with your hands. Yes – gloves are provided.

captains - hand

Cute bibs are provided too and I’m proud to announce that I left the event with a white shirt and not a stained shirt!!

captains - bib

As for the food:

Step 1: You choose your catch: Snow Crab Legs, Lobster, Mussels,Clams, Chicken Slices, Shrimp, Crawfish, King Crab Leg or Dungeness Crab

Step 2: Choose Your Flavour: Cajun Cajun, Lemon Pepper, Captain’s Boil, Garlic Sauce

Step 3: Choose Your Heat: Non Spicy, Mild, Medium, Fire. (I chose the Medium and it certainly had heat to it).

There’s also  a huge list of side dishes to choose from: Okra, Lotus Root, Sausage, Corn, French Fries, Sausage etc.

Before you know it, bags of hot seafood arrives at your table and you dig in with your hands (oh ya – there’s no plates). It’s messy but it’s fun!!

captains - bag

You are also provided with lime, salt and pepper in little containers. I’ve never seen this before and was eager to try it. I will now continue to eat seafood with this idea. Thanks Captain’s Boil!

captains - lime

For more information:

Website: www.TheCaptainsBoil.com

Address: Captain’s Boil – Little Italy – 671 College St.

Telephone: 416 538 8868

Twitter/Instagram: @thecaptainsboil

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thecaptainsboil

Disclosure: This meal was complimentary however all opinions are my own.

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The Fast Turkey Challenge!

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about my first time making chicken soup. Now that Thanksgiving is coming up I’m thinking about making my first Turkey. Once again – I’ve never made a Turkey before but I think I’m ready!!

I’m also ready for the Turkey Challenge which is not about making turkey but more about doing something for a good cause.



This Thanksgiving, really give thanks by doing the Fast Turkey Challenge. You agree to fast, by skipping lunch on Friday October 7th and donating your lunch money to the homeless who can’t afford to eat. You also agree to Challenge your friends to do the same, or they have to buy you lunch at your favourite restaurant instead.


All funds raised will go to Good Shepherd Ministries to help feed the homeless. At Thanksgiving they work tirelessly to provide a full Thanksgiving meal to those who can’t afford to eat. In just the las few years, Good Shepherd Centre has seen more than a 50% increase in the number of meals and snacks served each day. Today they are Toronto’s largest meal program, serving more than 1300 meals a day.

SIGN UP NOW & FAST AT LUNCH ON OCT. 7TH! For more info and details please go to www.fastturkey.ca

Feel free to take a peek at this video too:

I will happily support this cause for several reasons:

a) My dad  (who sadly passed away last year) was a volunteer at the Good Shepherd in Ottawa and I know this would be meaningful to him if I supported this campaign

b) I’ve been trying to be more charitable and try to give donations on a regular basis. (every bit helps, right?)

c) I like the campaign!! It’s simple and effective.

Please take a peek at this link.

Happy Turkey Challenge everyone and have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend too.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post however all opinions are my own and I promise that I will be making a donation!

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Recently I learned about a franchise that is the best kept secret. Believe it or not, I’m still in shock that I’ve never heard of this franchise.

It’s called Queseda and they have over 60 locations throughout Canada!! Yes – 60. I’m still shaking my head that I had never heard of this franchise before!

The restaurant is bright and welcoming. Still shaking my head that I had never head of Quesada before. Don’t worry by the end of the blog post I will get-over-it. (I think)

Also, what really sets Quesada apart is its approach to food. It’s always fresh and tasty with most items made from scratch. I absolutely adore restaurants who have this commitment. They make their salsas and sauces fresh daily. The Pulled Pork Carnitas is another example of their approach to food. It’s a slowcooked menu item that is made from scratch.

Last week, I was lucky enough to spend some time with Steve Gill who started this business.


Here’s more info about this entrepreneur!

Prior to entering into the food business, Gill was a successful technology consultant. However, his desire to be more connected to two things he loved – people and cooking – inspired him to make a major career change.

By the way, I can really relate to these two passions! I also adore people and cooking!!

In 2004, Gill opened the first Quesada restaurant on Wellington Street in
Toronto. When lineups started stretching through the door and around the corner, he thought he may be onto something.

Every Quesada menu item starts with Gill. His recipes are inspired by Mexican cuisine, fresh ingredients, his travels and a desire to discover tasty new flavours.

He really is involved with every aspect of his business, which is demonstrated in this photo!!


Steve has shared his famous recipe for Pulled Pork Carnitas with me and very very soon (early October) this item will be on the menu. I have no doubt it’s going to be a hit.

Recipe for Pulled Pork Carnitas

3 lb boneless pork shoulder
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ cup orange juice
½ cup water


Mix together all ingredients, except for the pork shoulder, in a slow cooker. Add pork shoulder and ladle some of the spice mixture over pork to cover.
Place lid on slow cooker, set on low and cook for 8 hours.
Once cooked, remove pork onto a rimmed baking sheet, and shred with 2 forks. Add some of the slow cooker liquid back into the shredded meat, if desired.

Diner that evening was delicious and I will certainly be returning to Quesada. Plus I look forward to watching this franchise grow too.


For more information:

Website: http://www.quesada.ca

Twitter and Instagram: @QuesadaBurritos

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/QuesadaBurritos

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post however all opinions are my own

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Yes – it’s true. I made chicken soup for my very first time.

How did this happen? The answer is simple: My kitchen has been dairy since 1990. Therefore I made the chicken soup in my boyfriends’ kitchen.

What inspired me? Several things: a) the Jewish New Year is around the corner b) the temperatures are cooling outside and c) there was a 3 day sale for fresh whole chickens at Longo’s!.

To be honest, it was my first time even buying a whole chicken.

As for the recipe: I did my research online and chatted with several friendly chefs. (um, I harassed at least 3 people). LOL

I decided to try two recipes:

Recipe #1 – How to Make Roasted Brown Chicken Stock, from www.simplebites.com

I chose this blog post as she is a respected food blogger (that I’m pretty sure I met many years ago) and I loved her 7 tips that she included in her blog post. Click here.

Here’s the recipe for Roasted Brown Chicken Stock – taken from Simple Bites.

10 chicken carcasses (I was nervous and only bought 3 and then reduced the recipe)
3 gallons cold water, approximately
2 large onions, peeled
1 large leek, washed (oops forgot this ingredient)
4 sticks of celery, washed
2 medium carrots, peeled
2 bay leaves
6-8 garlic cloves (00ps – forgot this ingredient too)
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorn
Handful of fresh parsley
2 springs of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)


Preheat oven to 350° F.
Do not rinse the bones, but place them directly in a large oiled roasting pan.  I brushed them with tomato sauce for more flavour and colour.

Roast the bones, turning once with a sturdy pair of tongs, until the bones caramelize, approximately 1 1/2 hours. Do not let them burn, or your stock will be bitter. (easy peasy)

Roughly chop the onion, leek, celery and carrots and toss them with a little oil.
Place them in another oiled roasting pan or sheet, and roast alongside the bones until lightly caramelized, approximately 25 minutes.

Remove bones from oven and transfer to a large stock pot. There will be a pool of fat at the bottom of the pan which you can drain off before deglazing the pan, or you can add it to your stock. It will only add more flavor to the final product.

Add a few cups of cold water to the roasting pan to deglaze it, and use a solid spatula to lift off the remaining food particles on the bottom of the pan and all the flavor they bring. Add mixture to the pot with the bones.

Add roasted vegetables herbs, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves to the pot of bones. Fill pot up with cold water until the ingredients are just barely submerged and place on stove burner.

Bring stock to a boil — and reduce heat immediately. Simmer slowly for 6-8 hours, occasionally skimming excess oil or scum off the top. You don’t need to babysit it much, just make sure it is at a temperature where it will will simmer, but not boil.
Using a sturdy Spider Skimmer, dip into the large pot and fish out the bones.

When you have fished out all the large ingredients, strain the broth through a fine sieve into a sturdy bucket or another pot. ( I chose to keep the veggies)

If you have the time and patience, strain the stock a second time through a cheesecloth to further remove impurities. (I didn’t do this)

Final Result…the bowl on the right!!


Next week, I will share Recipe #2 wth you to explain how I made the bowl on the left.

Stay tuned!!

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Satisfying Cravings!

I like to snack.

Don’t we all?

How do I satisfy my cravings throughout the day? Well there’s a few snacks that certainly do help.
For example, Prana, is a Canadian food company that specializes in delicious 100% organic, gluten-free and gmo-free snacks.

Recently they have launched two new products that are helping me with those cravings! (yay)

ProactivChia is an exclusive blend of probiotics and organic chia seed, with each serving providing 4 billion live probiotics – the perfect 2-in-1 solution for busy people!


Nothing beats a quick chia pudding snack ,which I make by adding my favourite dairy-free beverage and some chia seeds. Bingo – I’m not hungry anymore.

Another new product is Prana’s coconut chips. These crunchy and tasty snacks are a great alternative to traditional potato chips! They can be enjoyed in: Charleston (BBQ flavour), Hula (Salt + Pepper), Jive (Spicy Chili) and Classic (Original).

I was so excited about this product, that I decided to incorporate it into a recipe which involved three steps.

1. I took some firm tofu and diced it up and then fried it till golden.

2. Then I basted it with some BBQ Sauce.


3. For the final step, I took some Prana BBQ Coconut Chips and sprinkled it over the tofu. It was so delicious that I ate the whole thing.

However, under normal circumstances I  would package it up into small containers and snack on it.


There’s also Machu Pichu  – Nut & Fruit Mix which contains almonds, raisins, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, goji berries, white mulberries and goldenberries.prana-fruit-mix Yum, Yum and more Yum.

FYI – this product is in my car as I seem do to do a lot of snacking in my car. Anyone else out there have this problem?

What’s even cooler? All Prana products are certified organic, vegan, kosher, preservative-free, sulfite-free and, above all, free of compromise.

For more information about Prana please click here.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post however all opinions are my own.

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Review: The Sheraton Tel Aviv

I have a long history with the Sheraton Tel Aviv. It actually goes back to 1988 when I had my last dinner there after spending 4 years attending Tel Aviv University. #truestory

However over the years, I continue to stay at this hotel and to be honest I haven’t ever considered staying at any other hotel when visiting Tel Aviv. Plus I know many friends and family members who stay at the Sheraton Tel Aviv so I know it has a great reputation.

Here’s just a few reasons why I  continue to stay at this hotel.

1. The views: Need I say more?


2. The Israeli Breakfast: This is a must so make sure it’s included in the price of your hotel. If not, it’s wroth the $$ to pay for it.  The selection is unlike anything you have ever seen in an North American Hotel. You have been warned!!

I couldn’t possibly capture the entire range of what’s offered at this Israeli Buffet however I can tell you that the ENTIRE restaurant is dedicated to it. Trust me – it’s a sizeable restaurant.


3. The pool/beach proximity: I spend most of my time at the pool however if you cross the street – voila – you are the beach!! As you can see, it’s a great place to capture the gorgeous sunset.


4. The service: Everyone was courteous and helpful – the bellboys, the front desk staff and front desk staff too. We had no complaints.

5. The Club Lounge: I’m not a world traveller however I have seen a few club lounges in my life and this one is the best ones I’ve ever seen. There’s food served all day long and an incredible outdoor patio to view the city.


For more information:

Website: www.sheratontelaviv.com

Twitter: @SheratonTelAiv


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