Posts Tagged ‘Food Network’


I had the opportunity to go on a tour with Foodies on Foot and visit an asparagus farm as well as a lavender farm! I don’t often get the chance to visit a farm but when the opportunity presents itself …I jump at the chance.

The asparagus farm was indeed a learning experience. I had no idea that asparagus grew like this. (see bottom left photo)

asparagus - farm

At the end of the day, we were given 11 pounds of asparagus. For about a week, I was pretty busy making asparagus soup, roasted asparagus, steamed asparagus etc.

I also made this delicious Spring Asparagus Tart that I discovered online. In no time at all, I had a pretty nice looking meal.

Here’s the recipe courtesy of Morgan Hass for Food Network Kitchens:



1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (a 9 1/2- by 9-inch sheet from a 17.3-ounce package)

1 cup mascarpone

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 large egg, beaten

1 lemon, zest finely grated (about 1 tablespoon)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

1 pound pencil asparagus, woody bottoms trimmed off

1 tablespoon olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the puff pastry to a 9- by 12-inch even rectangle.  Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. I used PC Butter Puff Pastry and was really pleased with the results. This is now by “go-to” puff pastry of choice!

asparagus - puff

Combine the mascarpone, 1 1/4 teaspoons of the salt, the flour, egg and lemon zest, and then fold in the chives and tarragon.  (I didn’t have this spice handy ). Spread over the puff pastry, leaving a 3/4-inch border.

Toss the asparagus with the olive oil in a bowl. Lay half of the asparagus in a neat row across the surface of the tart so the tips meet the edge. Do the same in the opposite direction with the remaining asparagus. (the fancy part)

Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Bake until the border of the tart is deep golden and puffed and the top is lightly spotted golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes and serve.


asparagus - tart

Serve this tart with a few salads and you are good to go!!

asparagus - salads

To find out more information about Foodies on Foot, please visit their website  or follow them on twitter @foodiesonfoot.


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It’s a new year which is code (for me) for checking out some new recipes! So here are 3 recipes that I want to share with you that I recently tried. I hope you like them as much as I did.


I was recently introduced to PERSIMONS for the first time in decades. This particular variety from Spain has completely changed my mind about this gorgeous looking fruit. They have a sweet, delicate flavour similar to a peach or a mango and are only available for a short period; usually from mid-October until January/February. I think their limited availability makes them even more special, which is why you must seize the opportunity when they are in market!

Here’s a fabulous salad that I whipped up one night wtih just a few ingredients that were hanging around my fridge.

For more information about this fabulous fruit:, Twitter: @PersimonSays


-Salad Mix


-Toasted almonds



1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

2. For the dressing: take the pomegranate juice, add oil, dijon mustard and salt and pepper. Whisk together.


recipe - salad

b) APPETIZER: Mediterranean Ricotta fritters

I couldn’t believe how easy this recipe was to make. I will be making these again but probably going to add a different topping. ie fresh sasla or a spicy ailoli or mango chutney or a pesto. Clearly this a versatile recipe!! ps if you are looking for more amazing recipes please check out


1 egg

1 cup Canadian Ricotta

1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp nutmeg

salt and pepper

1 cup Canadian Swiss Cheese, grated

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1 tsp black or green olive tapenada

2 tablespoons fresh parsley and/or chives


1. Preheat oven to 425 F

2. In a bowl, whisk egg with Ricotta, flour and nutmeg. Season generously with salt and pepper. Incorporate Swiss Cheese and half the herbs

3. Drop small spoonfuls of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven on top rack for 10 to 12 minutes or until fritters are puffed up and golden brown.

4. Place fritters in wonton soup spoons (which I own of course..LOL), with hot tomato sauce, tapenade and remaining herbs.


recipe - fritter

c) DESSERT: Cherry Vanilla Blintzes (recipe from Food Network courtesy Wayne Harley Brachman)

I generally buy blintzes from a box but I was in the mood to make something from scratch and came upon the recipe while searching on the internet. It’s a winner. Next time I’m going to make a blueberry filling though!


1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons melted butter
Nonstick vegetable spray

Cherry Filling:

1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1 -teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 scraped vanilla bean
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1 pound (2 cups) farmer’s cheese, pot cheese or cottage cheese


Put the milk, water, eggs, and flour into a food processor or blender and process until smooth, about 10 seconds. If necessary, scrape down any solids that stick to the sides. Add the butter and process for a few more seconds to blend. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours or overnight. (I let it sit overnight)

Set a 10-inch, non-stick crepe pan over moderately high heat, then spray with non-stick vegetable spray. When the pan is hot, remove the pan from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of batter, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes and lightly browned. Set aside on a plate, cooked side up, and continue with the remainder of the batter.

To make the Cherry Filling:
In a small saucepan, cover the cherries with water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let rest. In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and egg until blended. Gently mix in the pot, farmer or cottage cheese. Drain the cherries and fold in.

Place 2 tablespoons of Cherry Filling in the lower center of the blintz. Fold up once from the bottom then fold over the sides. Roll up the rest of the way. Repeat with the rest. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan. In 4 small batches, fry the blintzes fold side down until golden brown. Gently flip to fry the other side. Serve with sour cream or yogurt.


recipe - blintz
Happy Cooking!!

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A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the opening of the new food court at Square One Shopping Centre. Seeing as I was a Marketing Director at Yorkdale Shopping Centre decades ago, I was eager to see what this was all about. There’s still a small part of me that is interested to know what’s going on in the shopping centre industry!!

The event was hosted by James Cunningham from Food Networks’ Eat St., who actually grew up shopping at Square One. Pretty cool.

square one - signage

During the media preview, I learned that they invested $320 million dollars on 3 different initiatives. FOOD CENTRAL is the first milestone of this exciting new journey. Not only do guests have the opportunity to eat in a modern and sophisticated space but there are now 8 new food retailers as well.

What really impressed me…….. (drum roll please)……

Square One FOOD CENTRAL has just launched a food court with REAL PLATES and REAL CUTLERY. That’s right – no more styrofoam  plates and no more plastic cutlery. THIS IS HUGE NEWS.

square one - real plates

Here’s what this really means:

  • It will displace 5.6 million styrofoam plates, plastic cups and cutlery from landfills every year
  • Reduces food court waste from 1,200 tons to 480 tons (60% reduction)
  • Reduces water usage through an energy efficient dishwashing system

The new retailers in the food court include: Big Smoke Burger, Amaya Express, Cultures, Su&shi and Noodle Bar, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Shanghai 260, Burger King, Szechuan Express.

square one - new retailers

Other exciting news for Square One, include the opening of Ann Taylor, Top Shop, White House/Black market and LOFT.

For more information:

Square One 100 City Centre Drive, Mississauga (905) 270 7771

Twitter: @ShopSquareOne

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If I tell a friend that “I’m having company over “…. this is code for “I’m going to try some new recipes”.

Here’s three new recipes that I will be trying.

-Oriental Edamame Salad courtesy of AllRecipes

-Green Goddess Kale Salad courtesy of Daily Bites Blog 

-The Ultimate Filet O Fish Sammie courtesy of Food Network.

The meal will also include fresh salsa, tortilla cheese, a cheese platter and a rhubarb strawberry crisp!

Can you tell that I spent some time on -line researching some recipes. I love it though!!

Todays blog will feature two salads that I’m going to be serving, K?

First Salad: Oriental Edamame Salad 


  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil


  1. Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat; cook almonds until lightly toasted and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Whisk sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and ginger together in a bowl for the dressing; season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Combine edamame, baby corn, water chestnuts, radishes, green onions, cilantro, and toasted almonds in a large bowl; toss with dressing until coated. Serve cold or at room temperature.


edamame salad


Second Salad: Green Goddess Kale Salad 

For the salad:

5 cups chopped kale

2 cups finely chopped broccoli florets (I steamed them slightly)

3/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

1 medium carrot (I used multi colour baby carrots)

Handful of sprouts

Handful of pumpkin seeds

For the dressing:

1/2 medium ripe avocado, pitted

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or regular milk

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Sea salt and pepper, to taste


In a large bowl, combine the kale, broccoli, scallions, and carrot. Reserve the sprouts and pumpkin seeds for garnish.

Scoop the avocado flesh into a blender or food processor. Add the milk, lemon juice, maple syrup, vinegar, and mustard. Puree until smooth. The dressing will be thick, with the consistency of mayonnaise. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat everything thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Garnish plates of the salad with the sprouts and pumpkin seeds.


kale salad - 1 Happy Cooking!

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Lately  I have been enjoying a lot of salads. One of my favorite salads is a Caesar salad as sometimes I’m just too tired to chop up a million vegetables. All I need is some romaine lettuce, and I’m good to go. Well not exactly, I need a fabulous caesar salad dressing too. My friend gave me one years ago, but decided to go on line to the Food Network to see if I could find test out another dressing. (or two)

DRESSING #1 courtesy of Trish Magwood, Party Dish


Roasted Garlic

  • 1 head roasted garlic (see below)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 anchovy fillet
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup  vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated or shaved parmesan


Roasted Garlic

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
  2. Slice stem end off garlic. Place on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with the oil. Wrap garlic and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until softened. This can be done ahead up to one day ahead. Let cool.


  1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse roasted garlic, raw garlic, anchovies and capers.
  2. Process until finely minced. Add Dijon mustard, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. With motor running, slowly drizzle in vegetable oil and finish with mayonnaise to achieve a creamy consistency.


  1. Season with black pepper and salt if needed, to taste.
  2. In a large bowl, tear lettuce into bite size pieces, Add dressing, croutons, and cheese to the bowl, and toss well
  • 1/2 cup Miracle Whip
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce/30 g)
  • 1 hard-cooked Omega-3 egg
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey or granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Whiz all ingredients in a food processor. (how easy could that get).

whizzz me up too please


two awesome dressings…two awesome salads.


In my humble opinion, I liked the first recipe better. There was something about the texture of the egg in the second dressing that didn’t have the same appeal to me.

However to be honest, I really really prefer the recipe I have been using for years: (courtesy of my friend Sherry)

3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine, 1 garlic clove, 1 tablespoon parmesan, 1/4 tsp salt. 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/3 tsp dry mustard, 1 anchovy.

No need for a million ingredients!!

Enjoy your salad everyone!!

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I’ve made a ton of blueberry crisps, mixed fruit crumbles but have never made a peach cobbler before. So I decided to try a recipe and it was so good that I made it two times in one week. That’s how easy it was to make and that’s how delicious it was.

I don’t know about you but I kind of like recipes that don’t require any heavy duty equipment. This recipe is one of them. You just need a few bowls…one for the topping and one for the flour mixture. I didn’t even have buttermilk on hand but made my own and the recipe worked!! Yay for the internet.

Here’s a winning recipe from the Food Network.



  • 4 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches (blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds to remove the skins)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon flour


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, for topping
  • Whipped cream (which would have been nice but I didn’t have it…nor did I have ice cream which also would have been nice)


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Generously butter a 1 1/2-quart shallow baking dish. (I sprayed it with Pam)

Place the sliced peaches in the dish.

Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and flour. Mix gently and spread over the peaches. Bake for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle this on top of the peaches!!

Meanwhile combine all dry ingredients for cobbler crust in a bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or your fingers, to make the texture like coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk and stir to form a soft dough.

Soft Dough

Remove fruit from oven and drop rounded spoonfuls of dough on top. Sprinkle with last tablespoon of brown sugar and return to oven.

Right before it went into the oven – it looked like this!

Bake until fruit is bubbly and crust topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream (which I didn’t have nor did I have icecream. Don’t sweat – everyone will still love it).


Peach Cobbler.

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As you know (or perhaps you don’t kn0w), I had the opportunity to drive a Chevy Volt for four days as was determined NOT to have it parked in my underground garage. I knew that I wanted to go on day trips but selecting WHERE to go was not easy:

a) I had just visited  Niagara on the Lake in April

b) Hamilton was on the list re: checking out food trucks

c) Peterborough was on the list too but barely

d) Cobourg was on the list too but I go several times each summer to enjoy the beach and it was a bit too early to do that

After a lot of deliberation, I finally decided to go to Elora on one day and  St. Jacobs plus Stratford on another day.

Elora is probably my favorite small town – I love the gorge, the galleries, and of course …the deep fried pickles from Something Fishy. This town has done it right. It’s truly charming but not in a tacky way. Do you know what I mean?

worth the calories

St. Jacobs was a bit disappointing. Then again I went on a Sunday and most things were closed so I quickly decided to go to Stratford.

After a quick drive (app. 30 minutes), I was in Stratford.  The downtown core has just the right combination of stores and restaurant. But I really love walking by the river . I couldnt stop taking photos.  The trip was highlighted by my Goat Cheese Poutine at Boomers Gourmet Fries. (who were featured on You Gotta Eat Here on the Food Network). Seriously, it was one perfect day….life couldnt get better!!




worth the calories...every single one of them

Do you have a favorite city for a day trip? As you can see..I have a few favorite day trips


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Would love to explore more food markets!!

Last week, I appeared on a Food Network Show called “Ice Cold Cash“.  Not only was it a fun experience to participate in this quiz show, but I also WON $1200!! It’s not every day that I win $$….infact I have never won any $$$ because I have never bought a lottery ticket or a raffle ticket. (Fact).

I have set this money aside so I can TRAVEL AND EAT (or should it be EAT AND TRAVEL?)….whatever…you know what I mean!! I am still in “the thinking stage” and have not done any research but here’s my list of where I would potentially spend my prize money. Note: this list is not in any particular order. Plus…Chicago, New York or Las Vegas are not on this list as I have been to these cities numerous times and would like to go somewhere I have never been to. Does that make sense?

1. Barcelona, Spain: I hear this city is spectacular if you are a foodie. I’ve seen photos of the markets and think I would make a b-line from the airport to the market.

2. East Coast of Canada: I have never been to the East Coast and dream of taking Via Rail so I could get on/off the train and explore different restaurants in a variety of different cities.

3.  San Francisco: I went years and years ago (pre-food-obsession) and know that there is some great markets and restaurants in this city.

4. The Far East: $1200 won’t cut it eh? Shame.

By the way, I know $1200 is not a tremendous amount of money but I would be travelling during the off season and would not be eating in 3 star Michelin restaurants. Plus I’m happy to hunt for internet deals that would offer air and hotel.

So what do you think of this list? Where would YOU go if you won $1200 and wanted to travel and eat?  All I know is that the money is just sitting there in the bank waiting to be used and my stomach is waiting to have new experiences.




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It wasnt an easy decision, but I drove to Washington last week instead of flying.  I dont regret that decision for a minute. There is something to be said about “road trips”.  For example I got to discover a beach on the way there and a small city on the way back.

On the way down to Washington, I stopped off at Presqule Ilse in Erie PA. I love beaches and this one is magnificent. I was so tempted to return there on the way back it wasn’t funny. Thats how nice it was. The beach is quiet, there’s lifeguards, the sand is gorgeous, and the water is clear and calm. What more could you ask for?


When I arrived in Washington, it was too hot to walk around (in my humble opinion). I waited till I went out for dinner and drinks to kinda explore and take photos.

Where did I eat dinner? Ben’s Chili Bowl because it’s cheap and cheerful and FAMOUS. As in line ups. But that’s ok – I was on vacation!! I had a veggie chili with chopped onions and cheese and it was just perfect.

Where did I drink? First drink…PS7….plymouth gin, gran classico, dolin vermouth and salted ice. I was happy.

Second drink…The Passenger…fernet, sweet vermouth, cherry liqueur, and a whole egg. Once again – I was happy.

On my way out of the city I passed Georgetown Cupcake and HAD to stop, despite a line up of 10 people standing outside in the heat at 3 p.m!! (I’m sure we were all tourists). I chose a honey banana cupcake and it was worth standing in line for.

Georgetown Cupcake

I decided to cut the journey in half by stopping in Altoona. Dont ask me why!! It was kinda out of my way. (clearly I didnt look at a map). Altoona had a Target – so I was happy. On the way OUT – I heard on the radio that the Food Network was there to film a segment for “The Best thing I Ever Ate” at Anthonys Pizza and Grill. Apparently they serve a famous Rum Cake.  I was so pissed that I heard this ON MY WAY OUT of the city. GRRR.

I have already marked in my calendar that the fancy food show is June 17-19, 2012. Guess who will be repeating the exact itinerary?

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Meet Susan and Bruce. Bruce is a busy litigation lawyer during the day, but when he comes home he enjoys watching the Food Network (a lot).  He is such a huge fan that Susan planned a driving trip to visit his favorite  restaurants/chefs that he watches on the Food Network as a birthday gift.

How awesome is that? I met with Susan recently who printed out the itinerary for me. She’s one organized woman!!

Day 1:

New Jersery – Carlos Bakery – featured on Cake Boss.

Manhattan – Max Brenner Chocolate Restaurant – featured on The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Stand 4 – Featured on The Best Thing I Ever Ate ( he had the roasted marshmallow milkshake)

Butter: – Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli was a judge on Chopped.

Day 2

Bar Americain- Iron Chef Bobby Flays’ Restuarant

Food Network Building

Morimoto – Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto

Del Posto – Iron Chef Mario Batali’s restaurant

Day 3

Maze – Chef Gordon Ramsey

Drove to Balitmore for Charm City Cakes (featured on Ace of Cakes)

Woodberry Kitchen – Featured on the Best Thing I Ever Ate  (they ate the chocolate marshmallow and peanut dessert)

Day 4 – Drove to Washington

Georgetown Cupcake – DC Cupcakes on TLC and part of the Cupcake Wars on the Food Network

Drove to Cleveland

Lola – Chef Michael Symon

Highlights for Bruce: the roasted marshmallow milkshake, dinner at Lola, Morimoto.

Doesn’t this sound like a great birthday gift?

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