Mixed Berry Vanilla Bean Cream Tarts

Making desserts is failing me HARD lately. But then I try the dessert a second time around and BOOM, it works out beautifully. Like this one. I tried making pastry cream for the first time and it sucked bad. It tasted delicious but it was like water. Creamy water. Yummmmm. But once I figured my sh*t out and got it together, this beautiful vanilla bean pastry cream came together and rocked my world. I seriously can’t get enough of these.

It’s official. I’m done with my first 2 week set of invisalign. And I’m over it. I have a total of 10 sets and if all goes as planned, that means only 9 to go. It’s really not that bad, but it’s annoying and I’d rather not have them in. So I’m eating more often just to give myself an excuse to take them out. Which has led to a current sugar obsession. Hence the recipe you are looking at right now. I ended up having to throw some of the tarts away to keep myself from going face deep. I can always feel when a sugar addiction is happening and it’s ON this week. Sugar is crazy. And the devil.

You guys, are you as obsessed as I am with the whole Calvin Harris-Taylor Swift-Some Guy Named Tom drama? I guess it’s not drama, it’s just someone breaking up then dating someone else. Which I have done many times in my life before marriage. I don’t know why I feel so interested. 1. I’m not huge into famous people, mostly because they make me jealous and feel bad about myself since I don’t have enough money to make it rain everywhere I go. And 2. Maria Menounos annoys the sh*t out of me on E! News so I had to stop watching it years ago and get my life together. But I can’t help being obsessed with TSwift’s love life. Maybe I need to cut myself off cold turkey from both TSwift and sugar. My obsessions run deep…must.stop.now.

WAIT, speaking of famous people, did you guys see the ESPN special on OJ Simpson? Not the one with actors, but the one with real people who were involved and it had all sorts of history in it. I thought it was SO interesting. For me, since I think sports are annoying AF and because I was super young, I knew nothing about OJ or really what was going on with our country at the time. And to watch all of that and everything I missed out on because I was playing with building blocks instead of watching TV, it was super interesting to see. And crazy because there were so many pieces of it that I had no idea about. But how were they able to say the F word and N word and show boobs and actual detailed photos from the crime scene on ESPN? That didn’t make sense. It was really hard to watch and listen to sometimes. That story is effing crazy. Now the question is…do you think he did it or didn’t? I can’t say my opinion because I’ll get hate mail no matter what I think. I wish you guys could read the email I get sometimes. Crazy ish right there.


For the crust
  • 1½ cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons ghee
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

For the vanilla bean pastry cream
  • 1 14-ounce can of full fat coconut milk
  • 5 eggs yolks
  • ¾ cup maple sugar
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • a pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut open lengthwise and beans removed with the back of a knife
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or ghee

For the glaze
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 heaping tablespoon honey
  • zest of ½ lime
For the toppings
  • ⅓ cup blueberries
  • ⅓ cup blackberries
  • ⅓ cup raspberries
  • ⅓ cup strawberries
  • mint leaves
  • organic powdered sugar (optional)


To make the crust
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease five 4-inch tart pans. Add all ingredients for the crust into a food processor and pulse until completely combine. The dough should combine into a slight ball once combine. Divide the dough evenly throughout the 5 tart pans and use your fingers to press dough around evenly throughout the pan, pressing the dough higher on the sides to create a slight bowl shape. Use a fork to poke holes in the crust to keep the crust from rising as it bakes. Bake crust for 15 minutes, until slightly golden brown. Remove then let crust cool completely for about 30 minutes.

To make the pastry cream
  1. Place coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat for about 3-5 minutes, until coconut milk begins to foam, but not boil.
  2. While the coconut milk is heating, place egg yolks and maple sugar in a mix bowl and beat on high speed for about 4-5 minutes, until the yolks become thick and pale. Once thick, reduce mixer speed and add tapioca flour and salt and beat until completely combine.
  3. When the coconut milk is warm, slowly pour half of the coconut milk into the mixing bowl with the mixer on low speed. You want to do this slowly so the eggs can come up to temperature with the coconut milk without scrambling so slowly pour in a stream while mixing.
  4. When combined with ½ the coconut milk, pour all of the egg mixture from the mixing bowl into the saucepan with the rest of the coconut milk, and whisk constantly over medium heat until thickened. This will take about about 10 minutes constantly whisking depending on the heat. Be sure to constantly whisk throughout the process to keep the eggs from sticking to the bottom and scrambling. Once bubbles occur and mixture thickens and reduces, continue for about 1 minute more.
  5. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract and vanilla bean along with unsalted butter and whisk until combine.
  6. Fill a large bowl with ice and place a small glass bowl inside of it (this will help the cream cool quicker). Pour the pastry cream through a sieve and into the small glass bowl to cool. Use plastic wrap to cover the cream, pushing it onto the top of the cream to keep it from getting a skin on it while it cools in the fridge. Place in fridge to cool for about 15-20 minutes. It should be COMPLETELY cooled before using

To build the tarts*
  1. Whisk together the ingredients for the glaze. When both the crusts and cream are completely cool, begin to fill each tart with 1-2 tablespoons of the cream.** Remember that you will be adding the weight of the berries so be careful with spilling over. Then add the berries however you prefer to decorate them on each tart. Cover the whole tart with berries or just the side like a did. Use a spoon to pour some of the lime glaze on top of the berries then garnish with mint leaves and a sprinkling of powdered sugar for a little extra glam, if you prefer.
  2. Eat up, you lovely, hard working person! You did it!
  3. Notes
  4. *Build the tarts right before serving. These don't store incredibly well since the cream gets a skin on it and turns a yellow color. So wait until you're about to serve these, then build them!

Gluten-Free Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

This chicken tortilla soup recipe is a staple in my house. It’s a good meal to make for those with food intolerances because it can easily be adapted for those on different diets. It can just simmer away on your stove top or in your crock pot and it has such a deep, rich flavor. I started with cooking bone-in chicken thighs in crushed tomatoes in spices for several hours until tender. This way you get the most tender chicken and the most flavor out of it because of the bones. The chicken is taken out, bones removed, shredded and added back in with black beans, chicken broth and oven roasted veggies. The broth for this was SO rich and had such a nice body to it. The oven-roasted veggies add great depth of flavor.

This version calls for bone-in chicken thighs, but if you want less work (and less flavor), you could just use boneless chicken thighs. For more flavor, use bone-in chicken thighs with the skins and take the skins off at the end. My all-time favorite brand of chicken thighs are Rosie’s. They are sooo good cooked in the crock pot all day. Alternately, when I forget to start the crock pot, I just cook the soup on my stove top for as long as I can, like a half hour or hour until the thighs are tender. I get the base started cooking and then work on the veggies and by the time they are done roasting in the oven, the soup base is usually done.

To make this soup Paleo, just omit the black beans and the non-Paleo toppings. If you don’t do dairy, just use dairy-free sour cream, add extra avocados or forget the sour cream. This is a good example of a dish you could make for everyone in your house and they can choose the toppings according to their dietary restrictions and preferences. Because of this, it makes a good meal for feeding a group too.

So, I’m going to “stand on my soapbox” for a while. I’m sick of soup being thought of as a winter food. I’m even more sick of people thinking of crock pots as more of a winter thing. What can be better than not heating up your entire house turning on the oven? Well, ok, maybe a grill outside while you’re sweating from the hot flames comes to mind. But, really a crock pot can simmer away all day, not heat up your house and it can be ready for you when you come home at the end of a long day of having fun.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to eat out more in the summer since we’re out and about and tired and getting home just in time to eat dinner. It feels so good to know that you have dinner ready when you get home.
Our whole family LOVES this chicken tortilla soup – it is a huge hit in our home. It has a lot of flavor and is perfect for any time of year.


  • 4 large Chicken Thighs, bone-in
  • 1, 28 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 ½ t. Cumin
  • ½ t. Chili Powder
  • 4 oz. Diced Green Chilies
  • ½ C. Water
  • 1, 15 oz. Can Black Beans
  • 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped or sliced
  • 2 small Zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into half moons.
  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ t. Coarse Real Salt
  • 4 C. Chicken Broth
  • 2 T. Chopped Cilantro


  • Sour Cream
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Salsa
  • Corn Tortilla Chips
  • Diced Avocado
  • Lime Slices


  1. Placed the chicken thighs, crushed tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, diced green chilies, and water in a slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  2. Remove chicken and let cool in a bowl for ½ hour. Remove the bones and cartilage from the chicken, lightly shred, and add back to the slow cooker along with the black beans, salt, and chicken broth.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  4. Toss the onion, bell pepper, and zucchini with the olive oil, spread out on a foil lined baking sheet and bake on the top rack of preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until vegetables have developed a little brown color. Add vegetables to the slow cooker and let cook for 30 minutes more.
  5. Just before serving, add the chopped cilantro and check seasonings. Add more salt and pepper if desired.

Chicken Pillows with Creamy Parmesan Sauce

Hey friends! Sorry about the late post today. I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off running errands and grocery shopping all while thinking, ‘I need to get home and blog about those awesome Chicken Pillows!‘ 😀  I love these delicious little devils. They are definitely in my Top 10 list of favorite recipes. I have been making these since the first year Kale and I were married and they continue to be a favorite around here.

I actually posted a similar recipe waaaay back in the first days of the blog, but over the years I’ve changed them up a bit. I used to make a chicken gravy to pour over the top until I tried the creamy Parmesan sauce. It was love at first taste and since then this is the only way I make them.

These fluffy pillows are loaded with a flavor-packed chicken mixture inside flaky crescent dough. When I am feeling up for it, and have the time, I like to make homemade crescent dough. But when I’m in a pinch I use 2 cans of Pillsbury’s dough and it makes life a whole lot easier. The Parmesan sauce just makes these already delicious pillows over-the-top crazy good. This is one of those dinners I moan after each bite, and Kale just rolls his eyes at me. HA! 😉


  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken breast
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dried chives
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dried, minced onion
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 2 (8 oz.) cans Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube or 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. To Make Rolls: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper then set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, cream cheese, chives, onion and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Unroll crescent dough from cans and press together two triangles to create one rectangle. Make sure you press together the perforations well so your filling wont ooze out. You should have 8 rectangles total.
  4. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of chicken mixture into the center of rectangle. Fold each corner over the center of filling. Press together to cover filling entirely. Shape into a ball. Repeat with all rectangles. Once all pillows are formed, dip each into the melted butter, and then coat in breadcrumbs. Shake off excess. Place each coated chicken pillow onto prepared cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Creamy Parmesan Sauce: While the rolls are baking, prepare the sauce. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour, cooking over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is golden and bubbly. Slowly whisk in the milk, stirring in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper once the milk has been completely added. Stir constantly over medium heat until the sauce thickens and bubbles, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and continue to stir until cheese is melted. Remove the sauce from the heat. Thin with a little milk if needed.
  7. Serve the rolls warm from the oven with Parmesan cream sauce drizzled over the top.


Hosting a Halloween party this year or need a cute and easy treat idea? These Cauldron Cupcakes are perfect for parties and easy to make with kids.

Witches, goblins and ghosts, oh my! Halloween season is upon us and it’s completely taken over our home. Last weekend the kids tried on their new Halloween pajamas, had a Halloween movie marathon, and we made spooky treats to share with you guys. I’ve been traveling so much over the past month that it’s been hard to enjoy the season before we move onto Christmas. Moments like these help slow down time and savor the season. We’re keeping things simple this fall with a few pumpkins and maybe a little handmade décor from the kids. I don’t think we’ll fully decorate for Halloween this year, but that’s ok. Keeping things simple has always been my motto and I’m ok with scaling back this Halloween season. What there will be an abundance of are Halloween treats! Today I’m sharing these Cauldron Cupcakes that are really easy to make.


Silicone Cauldrons
Cake Mix
Edible candy bones, bats and eyeballs

Mini pretzel sticks Step one: Prepare your cake mix according to package directions. Bake cupcakes in a cupcake pan lined with cupcake wrappers. Allow cupcakes to cool completely.

Step two: Place cupcake inside silicone cauldron.

Step three: Pipe frosting on cupcake, slightly press the back of a spoon to help create a messy bubbling cauldron look.

Step four: add candy pearls, eyes, bats and bones. Place a small pretzel stick inside the cupcake to add a stirring stick.

I'm sure..these would make a great treat for a Halloween part.. !! ^_^

Orange Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry

If your family is a fan of Chinese food, chances are you’ve ordered a dish called Orange Chicken. There are so many variations of this dish that most people’s culinary experience eating it really depends on each person’s palate. Sometimes the dish will have a strong soy sauce flavor to it. Other times Orange Chicken will be sweet and tangy, almost like a sweet and sour dish. However, this dish can be easily re-created in your home kitchen based on how you like it.

Using ginger, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, orange zest and juice, and oyster sauce as a base, you can adjust this sauce to your liking. Whenever I’m cooking stir-fry, I like to make the sauce first. Generally speaking, I always recommend to people when making a stir-fry sauce to taste as you go, tweaking it until you’re happy with it.

Now, if you’ve ever ordered Orange Chicken from a Chinese fast-food chain with a Panda as its logo, then you are familiar with how sweet and spicy their version is. This version is not that dish. However, if you prefer a similar type of flavor, feel free to sweeten your sauce up with sugar, honey, agave, etc. Personally speaking, I like to add two tablespoons of granular evaporated cane juice. This helps with slightly caramelizing the sauce making it thicker, but I wouldn’t say it makes the sauce sickly sweet. Once again, taste as you go and make the changes you want to make this sauce your own. Like it spicy? Add red pepper flakes. Like it with more orange flavor, add more zest. Fan of garlic, add a few more cloves. Be as creative as you want to be.
Lastly, I would like to offer this tip when it comes to vegetables. Some vegetables should be slightly cooked before adding to the stir-fry. These vegetables would include large broccoli crowns, green beans, and largely cubed root vegetables. By cooking them first, the texture is more ideal for stir-frying with softer vegetables like mushroom, shredded cabbage, thinly sliced onions, carrots, etc.

Orange Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Servings: 4-6



  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • optional sweetener like sugar, honey, agave, etc.
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger


  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 pound chicken tender cut into cubes
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chopped vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, celery, mushroom, snap peas, etc.


  1. Blend all the ingredients for the sauce in a blender or food processor for 10 seconds.
  2. Taste the sauce and add your choice of sweetener to your liking.
  3. Blend again for a few more seconds.
  4. Heat the sauce in a large skillet on medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Carefully transfer the sauce to a heat proof bowl.
  5. Rinse the skillet clean.
  6. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  7. Add the corn starch and massage the chicken with your hands.
  8. If using fresh broccoli or green beans, boil the broccoli for 3-5 minutes until soft enough to pierce with a fork yet firm.
  9. Transfer the vegetables to a plate lined with a paper towel.
  10. Wipe down the skillet until dry.
  11. Heat approximately 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet on medium-high heat.
  12. Cook the onion and chicken until the chicken is cooked through, approximately 3-4 minutes.
  13. Add the remaining vegetables and stir-fry them together for 2 minutes.
  14. Slowly add a few tablespoons of sauce while stirring the vegetables and chicken.
  15. Continue to add the sauce a few tablespoons at a time, allowing about 15 seconds between each addition to allow sauce to slightly cook down.
  16. Spoon the stir-fry over a bowl of hot rice. Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Oreos - Hallowen

While my daughter and I were putting together some Oreo treats, we had the idea to make some Pumpkin Oreos. We knew that the cookies were already popular on their own but dipping them in candy melts and adding cute faces would make them even more irresistible! We were so happy with how they turned out and loved making different faces for each pumpkin head. They could be silly, spooky or even a bit scary depending on how you make them.

Today we’re going to show you just how simple and fun they are to make. Here’s what you’ll need…

Pumpkin Oreos


  • OREOS (We used Pumpkin Spice Oreos but any variety will do)
  • Orange Candy Melts
  • Green Steam Sprinkles or Mini M&Ms
  • Candy Eyeballs
  • Black Frosting Writer (comes in tub so it's easy to pipe on)
  • White Jimmy Sprinkles


  1. Melt your orange candy melts according to packaging. Dip each Oreos in melts until all covered.
  2. Set out on parchment or wax paper and add candy eyeballs and green stem. Let set.
  3. Pipe on black frosting for mouths and add white jimmy sprinkles as teeth. Let set (refrigerate if you want it to set quicker) and ENJOY!


A super simple veggie loaded breakfast casserole that’s easily customizable! I loaded mine with shredded potato hash browns, tons of fresh veggies, and a big dash of hot sauce! You can add crumbled sausage, shredded chicken, or anything else you please!

Let’s talk about the recipe. It’s super simple, I promise.
I sautéed the veggies separately in a skillet before layering them in. If you decide to use any kind of protein, just sauté it before adding it into the casserole.
So it starts like this – just spray a 9×13 casserole dish down with a good coating of cooking spray. We want the hash browns on the bottom to get nice and colored.Then add in the hash brown, pack them in firm. Next, whisk the eggs, salt and pepper, milk, and if you’re using it, hot sauce, in a bowl and set it aside. Saute and add your protein +veggies on top of the potatoes and drizzle on your egg mixture. Top it with your favorite cheese and that’s it! Let it all bake up for 45 minutes and you’ve got a perfect breakfast casserole that’s great for brunch or lazy Saturday mornings.
Sometimes I like to assemble the casserole from the night before and let it come to room temperature for about 20 minutes while I enjoy a cup of coffee and bake it off in the morning.
Lazy Saturday morning breakfasts are my favorite part of the whole week.



  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 8-10 mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 20 ounces shredded potatoes, thawed
  • 10 eggs
  • ⅓ cup half and half or milk*
  • ¼ cup hot sauce (more or less to taste)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheese*


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté them for 4 minutes or until they start to brown. Add a small pinch of salt along withe onions and garlic and let cook for 2 minutes. Remove to a plate. Add the second tablespoon of oil, if needed, and sauté the peppers for 1 minute. Add in the baby spinach and allow it to wilt, remove from heat, set aside.
  2. Generously spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Lay the shredded potatoes in the bottom of the dish and press to make sure they are spread out evenly. Add the veggies (both the mushrooms and the pepper mixtures) over the potatoes, set aside.
  3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF if you are baking the casserole immediately.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, half and half, hot sauce, and salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the prepared veggies. Sprinkle with the cheese and anther small pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. Bake the casserole, uncovered, until the cheese melts, and the top gets in and golden, 45-50 minutes. Allow the casserole to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

TO MAKE AHEAD - prepare the casserole as directed, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or as required (not to exceed 24 hours) and allow it to come to room temperature for 20 minutes before baking.

OTHER ADD INS - I kept this recipe vegetarian, but you can certainly add in browned sausage, ground turkey/beef, shredded chicken or ham. The cheeses I recommend for this casserole are cheddar (mild or sharp), mozzarella, and pepper jack, or swiss).

Butter Brickle Frozen Delight

This dessert is a frozen winner! It is made in a 9" springform and can be stored in the freezer and served immediately when unexpected company arrives. It is a very rich dessert with layers of butter brickle, caramel sauce, and a rich layer of cool whip & cream cheese. Very rich!

Butter Brickle Frozen Delight

makes 1 - 9 inch springform


  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar caramel topping


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, 1/3 cup melted butter and white sugar until well mixed. Press into bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.
  3. Bake 6 minutes, until set. Cool completely.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  5. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, 1/2 cup melted butter and pecans until well mixed. Lightly pat onto a baking sheet.
  6. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until light brown. Crumble while still hot. Cool completely.
  7. In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in condensed milk until well blended. Fold in whipped topping.
  8. Spread half of the cheese mixture over the crust in the springform pan. Sprinkle half of the oat crumbles over the cheese mixture, and spread half of the caramel sauce over that. Repeat layers. Freeze until firm, remove pan sides and serve cold.

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Coconut Shrimp Curry – Try this amazing recipe for this tasty and flavorful coconut shrimp curry, comfort food at its finest.

In Romanian cuisine we don’t use coconut milk or many of these ingredients found in this dish and this is why I like to experiment and try different type of dishes. When I started this blog my husband asked me if I won’t run out of recipes. I laughed and said there’s no way I will ever run out of recipes. Yes, I’ll run out of the recipes I know, but there are so many different types of cuisines out there, it’s impossible to run out of recipes, unless you are afraid to try different things. But not me, I’ll try anything once, if I like I’ll have it again, and if I don’t, well at least I can say I tried it.

But back to this recipe here, I love curry dishes with coconut milk in them, they’re rich in flavor and the dishes look amazing. I mean look at the color of this curry, it’s gorgeous.

Although you may think there are a lot of ingredients in this dish, there really aren’t and it was a very quick dish to put together. It makes a wonderful dinner or even a great lunch if you have left overs.

Coconut Shrimp Curry


  • For Shrimp Marinade
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/7 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 lb extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined

For the sauce

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (5.5 oz) unsweetened coconut milk
  • fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish
  • cooked rice for serving


  1. In a small bowl toss the shrimp with the marinade ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  2. While the shrimp is marinating, heat the oil in a medium size pot. To it add the onion, and cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in the ginger, garlic, pepper, salt, coriander, turmeric and curry powder.
  3. Continue to cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent, another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes with juices and all, stir well and cook for about a minute after which add the coconut milk, stir and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes. Add shrimp with the accumulated juices from the marinade and cook for another 5 minutes or until the shrimp is pink and cooked through.
  4. Serve over hot rice and garnish with cilantro or parsley.

Orange Soaked Bundt Cake

This amazingly moist and delicious cake is adapted from a favorite family recipe of Bianca Henry, a New York pastry instructor. You'll need a thin skewer to poke holes in the cake. Serve the cake garnished with slices of peeled oranges macerated with a little sugar and rum..

Orange Soaked Bundt Cake

Serves 10


For the cake:

  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 10 oz. (2-1/4 cups) all-purpose flour; more for the pan
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola or other mild-flavored oil (check for freshness before using)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 6 oz. (12 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened; more for the pan
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. finely minced lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
  • 3/4 cup strained fresh orange juice
  • 5 large eggs

For the syrup & glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 2 Tbs. dark rum
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted


Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan or 12-cup bundt pan.

To make the cake:

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and soda into the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until fine crumbs form. Change to the whisk attachment. With the machine running on medium speed, whisk in the oil, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and orange juice. Whisk in the eggs one at a time and then increase the speed to high and whisk the batter until light, about 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.

To make the syrup and glaze:

While the cake bakes, whisk together in a small bowl the orange juice concentrate, butter, rum, and 1/2 cup of the confectioners' sugar. When the cake is done, set the pan on a rack to cool for 5 minutes. With a thin skewer, poke the cake all the way through to the bottom of the pan in about 100 places. Pour 1/3 cup of the syrup over the cake and let stand for 1 hour before removing the cake from the pan. (At this point you can wrap the cake in plastic and hold for up to 3 days at room temperature; in fact, the flavor only improves.) Cover the remaining syrup with plastic and store at room temperature.

When ready to serve, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar into the remaining syrup. Set the cake on a rack over a baking sheet and pour the glaze over the cake. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Lemon Cookie Tarts

Is it a cookie or is it a tart ? :) My favorite is lemon. I have made these tarts filled with Bailey's Chocolate Mousse. Also banana cream or coconut pie filling will work nicely to.

Lemon Cookie Tarts

Servings: 30


  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk (use only if the filling is to thick) (optional)
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd (lemon pie filling, mousse or any kind of pie filling)


  1. In food processor pulse sugar, powdered sugar and butter till creamy. Can be done with electric beaters as well.
  2. Mix rest of ingredients except lemon curd and sweetened condensed milk, mix until a smooth dough is formed.
  3. Chill 15 minutes wrapped in plastic wrap.
  4. Spray mini muffin tins with Pam.
  5. Measure 1 Tbsp of dough.
  6. Roll into ball place one in each hole of mini tart pan.
  7. Using your thumb make a centre with the dough making sure that the dough in uniform size all around and not to thin on the top.
  8. Bake at 350°F for 9 minutes or until dough is slightly firm but not set. They may close up during cooking.
  9. Remove tart shells from oven working quickly and using the back of a rounded 1/2 tsp measuring spoon gently press a shallow indentation in each shell. (Don't let them cool or it will be harder to get them to form a shell).
  10. Bake 2-3 minutes longer or until edges of shells are firm and golden.
  11. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
  12. Carefully remove from pan and transfer to cooling rack, if they need more shaping you can do that now.
  13. Cool completely before filling. Can be made to this point and frozen (but thaw to room temp before filling).
  14. For the filling mix together purchased or homemade lemon curd and sweetened condensed milk.
  15. Put a small amount of powdered sugar in a sieve and shake a little on the top of each tart, garnish with a long piece of lemon zest.

Buttermilk Ranch Cheeseball

This is the quickest and easiest appetizer I know of. It takes only minutes to make and can be served almost immediately. You can keep the ingredients on hand for months. Serve with buttery crackers..

Buttermilk Ranch Cheeseball

makes 1 cheese ball


  • 1/2 pound Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix (such as Hidden Valley Ranch ®)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese


  1. Mix the sour cream with ranch dressing mix in a bowl until smoothly combined. Add the cream cheese and Cheddar cheese to the bowl, and mix together with your hands until thoroughly blended. Chill the mixture for 5 minutes, then shape into a ball.
  2. Place the pecans into a shallow bowl, and roll all sides of the cheese ball in the pecans to coat. Serve immediately.

Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole

This creamy casserole can be made a day ahead, refrigerated and then baked just before dinner. Using frozen vegetables makes this dish a cinch.

Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole

Serves 10
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Perfect Pinch® Italian Seasoning, divided
  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen cauliflower florets, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick® Garlic Salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Black Pepper, Coarse Ground
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons melted butter and 1/2 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning in small bowl. Set aside. Cut up any large broccoli or cauliflower florets into bite-size pieces.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in flour, remaining 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, garlic salt and pepper. Add milk; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add cream cheese and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese; cook and stir until cream cheese is melted. Add vegetables; toss gently to coat. Spoon into 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle top evenly with crumb mixture.
  3. Bake 40 minutes or until heated through and top is lightly browned.


Make Ahead: Unbaked casserole may be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bake as directed.

Flavor Variation: Substitute 1 teaspoon McCormick® Perfect Pinch® Lemon & Pepper Seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Basil Leaves for the Italian Seasoning.

Shrimp, Tomato, and Spinach Pasta in Garlic Butter Sauce

Shrimp, fresh tomato, and spinach with fettuccine pasta in garlic butter sauce – a delicious Italian pasta dish and a great way to use up a bunch of fresh tomatoes you might have sitting around in your kitchen.

In this recipe, the tomatoes are only slightly cooked, preserving their freshness and shape. Combined with garlic and butter sauce, spinach, and shrimp seasoned with paprika and crushed red pepper, this pasta dish became a favorite in my household and disappeared from the skillet pretty fast as everybody went for seconds. And, it’s so easy to make!

First, you saute fresh shrimp in garlic, butter, and olive oil, until just pink on both sides (the shrimp will still be undercooked but it will continue cooking later). Sprinkle the shrimp generously with salt and paprika, as you’re cooking it. The shrimp will smell and look so good, you will be tempted to eat half of it before even finishing up this recipe! 🙂  Don’t be like me and resist the temptation!

Then, you add chopped fresh tomatoes and cooked spinach, together with more garlic and crushed red pepper. Mix everything well and remove from heat (while you cook the pasta).  You don’t want to overcook the shrimp and tomatoes – they will continue cooking in the next step.

When pasta is cooked, rinsed with cold water and drained, add pasta to the skillet, along with some lemon juice and more butter. Season with salt and red pepper flakes and heat the dish, constantly stirring, until shrimp is cooked through and all ingredients are heated through.
Right before serving, top with grated Parmesan cheese.


  • 1 pound fresh shrimp, uncooked, shelled and deveined
  • 5 medium tomatoes, fresh, chopped into large cubes
  • 1 cup cooked spinach
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 small lemon
  • salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more)
  • paprika
  • 10 oz fettuccine pasta
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese,grated,for serving


  1. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil until melted. Add fresh shrimp and half the minced garlic. Make sure shrimp is not crowded. Cook for 1 minute on one side until pink on that side. While it's cooking, generously sprinkle paprika and salt over uncooked side of the shrimp. Flip the shrimp over and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes until pink on the other side.
  2. To the skillet with shrimp, add chopped fresh tomatoes, cooked spinach, and remaining amount of minced garlic. Add 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more). Mix everything well, remove from heat while you cook pasta.
  3. In the mean time cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent pasta from cooking and getting mushy.
  4. Add pasta to the skillet with shrimp and vegetables with 1 or 2 tablespoons of butter. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice (depending on the juiciness of your lemon, it could be 1/4 of small lemon or 1/2 lemon). Don't add too much lemon juice. Season with salt and more crushed red pepper. Warm it up on medium heat until shrimp is cooked through, and all ingredients are heated through.
  5. To serve, top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Garlic-Lime Chicken

I think chicken is the healthiest lean protein to eat (aside from fish –) and one of the cheapest to get all natural, free range, or organic. So let’s pass up the ground chuck for some beautiful, pink, glistening chicken breasts; and, you know cook ‘em up in a tasty way.

This is where I run into problems. I’m so bored with my chicken recipes and I’m always on the hunt for new ones that don’t take a lot of time or fancy ingredients.

Here’s one that’s great. All the ingredients you probably already have, and it takes no time at all and barely any effort. Crack open a Corona with these.

Garlic-Lime Chicken


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder


1. In a small bowl, mix together salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and parsley. Sprinkle spice mixture generously on both sides of chicken breasts.

2. Heat butter and olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken until golden brown, about 6 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons garlic powder and lime juice. Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently to coat evenly with sauce.

Loaded Potato Soup

Loaded Potato Soup is thick, creamy, and gluten-free, plus it’s loaded with delicious add-ins like bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, and chives!


  • 4 medium-sized russet potatoes, peeled then chopped
  • 1/2lb bacon, chopped (plus extra cooked bacon for topping)
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 Tablespoons gluten-free or all-purpose flour (soup will not be GF if using AP flour)
  • 6 cups milk (I used almond milk - use 2% or higher if using cow’s milk)
  • 8oz freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • chopped chives or green onions for topping


Add potatoes to a large pot of cold water then season with 1 Tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil then cook until potatoes are very tender. Drain well then add to a large bowl and mash to your desired consistency (more chunky will mean a chunkier soup.) Can be done ahead of time. Alternatively you could use 5 cups leftover mashed potatoes.

Add bacon to a soup pot over medium heat, cook until crisp, then remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, reserving bacon fat in the pot (you could remove a few Tablespoons but leave at least 1/4 cup bacon fat in pot.) Melt butter in bacon fat then add onions, season with salt and pepper, and then saute until very tender, 7-9 minutes. Sprinkle in flour then whisk until smooth and cook for 1-2 minutes to remove the raw flour taste. Slowly add milk a splash at a time while whisking constantly to avoid lumps until a smooth sauce has formed, then add the rest of the milk.

Season generously with salt and pepper then turn heat up to medium-high and bring soup to a simmer while stirring constantly. Turn heat back down to medium then cook while stirring constantly until soup has slightly thickened, 3-4 minutes.

Add half the mashed potatoes then whisk until smooth, and then whisk in remaining mashed potatoes. Add 3/4 of the cheese then whisk until smooth, and then add sour cream and whisk until smooth. Stir in cooked bacon.

Taste then add salt and pepper, and then remove soup from heat to sit and thicken for 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls then serve with the reserved cheese, chives or green onions, and extra bacon.

Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Tartlets

Another spring, another rhubarb recipe. Every March I see the little red shoots poking through the dead leaves and I get a bit excited knowing that winter is finally on its way out. It’s a sign of hope, and a promise of all the other fresh produce that’s to come.

I’ve celebrated with many great rhubarb recipes over the years— everything from coffee cake to crisps— but this year I went back to my favorite strawberry rhubarb pie, with a twist. I swapped out one pie dish for four little tart pans and ditched the top crust in favor of a pillow of toasted meringue.

Baking with Rhubarb (Baking Tip)
I’m fortunate to have several rhubarb plants in my backyard that produce stalks from mid April to September. I’ve found that most well-stocked grocery stores and farmer’s markets sell fresh rhubarb in early spring. One thing to keep in mind is that the flavor of rhubarb changes over the course of the season. Stalks picked later in the season are more tart than those earlier in the season, and the amount of sugar in recipes will need to be adjusted accordingly.


  • For the sweet tart dough:
  • 1½ cup (188 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (57 grams) powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons (147 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the filling:

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1½ cup (200 grams) strawberries, sliced
  • 1½ cup (175 grams) rhubarb, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • For the meringue:
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup sugar


To make the tart dough:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the all-purpose flour, powdered sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse in short bursts until the butter is the size of small peas. Slowly add the beaten egg and pulse until the mixture comes together into a ball. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
  2. Let the dough sit at room temperature for a few minutes, then roll out to about ¼ inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Use a large round cutter or a knife to cut out circles of dough for each tart pan (I used 5 inch circles for my 4-inch tart pans).
  3. Grease tart pans with butter, then press the dough circles into each pan. Chill in the freezer until ready to bake.

To make the filling:

  1. In a medium saucepan, toss all ingredients together in a bowl to coat the fruit. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is moistened and the strawberry and rhubarb start to soften.
  2. Divide filling between the 4 tart shells. Place on a sheet pan and bake at 400 degrees F until filling is bubbling and dough is golden, 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely, then remove tarts from their pans.

To make the meringue:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Slowly add the sugar to the egg whites while continuing to mix. Beat to stiff peaks. Spread meringue onto the tops of each tartlet.
  2. Brown the meringue with a hand-held kitchen torch or under an oven broiler (watch it carefully). Serve immediately. Store any leftover tartlets in the fridge.

Note: This recipe can be baked as one 8 or 9-inch tart. Follow instructions as given, substituting one tart pan for 4. Increase baking time to 35-40 minutes.

Spicy Shrimp Creole

A tasty Creole style dish with shrimp in a thick and tomato based sauce with onions, celery and bell pepper along with some spicy hot sauce that is typically served over rice.


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup bell pepper, diced
  • salt to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or shrimp stock or chicken broth
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes (or 4 cups diced fresh ripe tomatoes)
  • 1 cup shrimp stock or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon creole seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce* (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deviened
  • salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
  • 1/2 cup green onions, sliced


  1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat, add the onions, celery and peppers, season with salt and cook until they are tender, about 7-10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, thyme and tomato paste and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  3. Add the wine and deglaze the pan.
  4. Add the tomatoes, stock, creole seasoning bay leaves, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the shrimp and simmer until cooked, about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste, remove from heat and serve over rice topped with the green onions.

Option: For One-Pan: Make this a one-pan meal by adding 1 cup of rice and 2 cups broth or water (or 8 ounces of pasta and 2 1/4 cups broth or water) to the sauce after step 4 and simmer, covered, until cooked, about 20 minutes (or 12 minutes for pasta).
Option: If you do not have shrimp stock on hand you can simmer the shells from the shrimp in chicken broth for 20 minutes and strain the solids out.
Note: *All hot sauces have a different level of heat and everyone has a different tolerance/preference for heat so add the your favourite hot sauce to taste.
Option: If you do not have have the time to simmer until the sauce thickens you can always add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed into 2 tablespoons of cool water, though the simmering does bring out more flavour.
Note: The sauce only tastes better the next day and although shrimp isn't the best reheated, if you are making say a chicken and/or andouille sausage version, double up the recipe for lots of tasty leftovers!


Grilled pineapple, avocados, cilantro, and the BEST teriyaki vinaigrette turn this grilled teriyaki chicken salad into a hearty and tasty meal you’ll put on repeat all summer long.

Grilled pineapple, avocados, cilantro, and the BEST teriyaki vinaigrette turn this grilled teriyaki chicken salad into a hearty and tasty meal you make again and again!


  • ½ cup teriyaki sauce, (see note)
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
  • 8 cups chopped romaine or green leaf lettuce
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 1 15-ounce can pineapple rings, with juice (juice divided between marinade and dressing, see instructions)
  • cilantro, roughly chopped


  • ½ cup teriyaki sauce
  • ⅓ cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • pineapple juice (from the can of pineapple rings)


  1. Combine chicken, ½ cup teriyaki sauce, and half of the pineapple juice from your can of pineapple slices in a large resealable bag. Press the extra air out of the bag, seal, and chill for 15 minutes.
  2. In a small-medium bowl combine all dressing ingredients, whisk to combine, then cover and chill until ready to use.
  3. Grease and preheat your grill. Place chicken on grill and discard bag with marinade. Place chicken and pineapple rings on the grill. Grill pineapple rings just until hot and tender and grill marks start to form. Grill chicken 6-10 minutes on each side until browned and cooked all the way through (completely white inside, no pink). Transfer to cutting board and slice into strips or chop into 1-inch pieces.
  4. Assemble salads with chopped lettuce on the bottom, then top with chicken, tomatoes, onions, avocado slices, grilled pineapple slices and cilantro. Serve with prepared dressing (stir or shake immediately before serving). Top with sesame seeds if desired.

Thai Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

My latest obsession in life is all things curry. Growing up my mom never cooked any type of curry dish and so I just never really cooked with it either, that is until recently. I love it! It’s unique flavor always leaves me wanting more. Here the flavor of it is rather mild (in my opinion) but definitely add more as you wish. The strength of the curry powder (I’ve heard) varies from brand to brand so start small and add more as you go.

Recently my husband and I ate at a Thai restaurant we’ve been wanting to try for a while now and it was a total let down. So I decided to try making what I’d for it to be at home to make up for it.  This Thai Coconut Curry Chicken Soup is definitely going to be a new favorite soup in our house! All of us loved it! Despite it’s rather long list of ingredients it was easy to make and the bit of extra time made it so worth it (mostly it’s a lot of chopping and gathering and adding different spices and flavorings). I do love the shortcut of using store-bought rotisserie chicken here but you can just use shredded chicken breasts or thighs you’ve cooked up yourself. Either way you’ll end with a delicious soup you’ll want to make again and again!


  • 6 oz. pad thai rice noodles
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or canola oil, divided
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp red curry paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into small, thin strips
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (13.5 oz) can regular or light coconut milk
  • 3 cups shredded cooked rotisserie chicken
  • 8 oz. snow peas, trimed and sliced in half crosswise
  • 2 Tbsp packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • Salt
  • 5 oz. fresh spinach (4 packed cups)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

For serving

  • Chopped peanuts
  • 1 red chili pepper, seeded and chopped or sriracha

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Once boiling add rice noodles and boil according to directions on package (usually about 3 - 6 minutes). Drain and rinse with cold water.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 3 minutes then add another 1/2 Tbsp oil, garlic, curry powder, curry paste, turmeric, and coriander. Saute 1 minute then add last 1/2 Tbsp oil and bell pepper and saute 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in coconut milk, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in chicken, snow peas, brown sugar, fish sauce and green onions. Season with salt to taste and cook 2 minutes. Stir in spinach, cilantro and lime juice and cook until spinach wilts. Toss in noodles. Serve warm with peanuts and red peppers.

Turkey, Cranberry and Bread Stuffing Phyllo Packets

When it comes to Thanksgiving main dishes, it’s usually all about the big, beautiful, golden turkey. That’s how we usually celebrate the day. Over the years though, there have been times when, for one reason or another, we aren’t all getting together on the day, so our Thanksgiving meal is smaller and a whole turkey seems a bit much. For times like those, these Turkey and Bread Stuffing Phyllo Packets are the perfect dish.

These phyllo packets are filled with all the flavours of Thanksgiving, from the cranberry sauce, to the cooked turkey and homemade bread stuffing. Served with a Browned Butter Sage gravy, you’ll never miss the big bird. It’s Thanksgiving in a pretty packet!

This turkey dish can start with left-over turkey, turkey cooked and cut from a simple turkey breast or you could even use chicken, if you like. Add in some homemade or store-bought cranberry sauce and an easy and delicious sage bread stuffing, then wrap it up in buttered phyllo. Serve with a simple Sage Gravy (or again, store-bought, if you prefer), for the entire Thanksgiving experience.


  • Cranberry Sauce (or you can use store-bought):
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp. orange zest (optional)

Gravy (or you can use store-bought):

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion or shallots
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups (900ml) chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh sage leaves (or 2 tsp. dried sage leaves)
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. salt


  • 5 Tbsp. butter
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion or shallots
  • 1/3 cup sliced button or cremini mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh sage leaves (or 1 tsp. dried sage leaves)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups toasted fresh bread cubes, including crust


  • 8 sheets of thawed phyllo dough
  • 5 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 cups cooked turkey or chicken, in chunks or small slices


  1. Cranberry Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and allow to boil, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have mostly popped and sauce has thickened. Remove to a bowl, allow to cool completely at room temperature or cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate until needed if making ahead.
  2. Gravy: Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until nutty brown and fragrant. Add onion. Cook for 30 - 45 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 30-45 seconds. Using a whisk, add about 1/3 of the stock and stir until smooth. Then add remaining broth, wine and sage. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently until thickened. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, as needed. Cover and turn off heat (to re-warm before serving) or transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate if making ahead.
  3. Stuffing: Toast bread slices, then cut in to cubes. Place in to a large bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and mushrooms and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, sage and salt and pepper. Pour mixture over bread cubes and stir and/or gently squeeze butter mixture in to bread cubes. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. To make parcels: Have butter melted and a brush ready. To make the first parcel, lay one sheet of phyllo in front of you, with the long side closest to you. Butter the sheet and then place another sheet over-top. Butter that sheet as well. Using a sharp knife, cut the right 1/3 of the phyllo off, from top to bottom (so you will have a large square-ish piece and a smaller, narrow piece). Take the smaller, narrow two-layer piece and place it in the centre of the square piece (so you have two-layer thick on the right and left side and 4 layers thick in the middle).
  5. Place a dollop of cooled cranberry sauce in the very centre. Top with several pieces of cooked turkey (or chicken), then using a tea cup or 1 cup measuring cup, pack stuffing in, then place a dome of stuffing over-top turkey, pressing it together in to a mound. Lift the two right corners of the outside edge of the phyllo and bring it up in to the centre, pleating as needed. Bring the two left corners up to the centre as well and pinch together with the other side, twisting to lock them together. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining phyllo and fillings to make 4 parcels. (You can cover and refrigerate at this point for up to a day or parcels can be frozen. Defrost in wrapping before baking).
  6. To bake: Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until richly golden and filling is hot. Serve with gravy.

Neapolitan Cupcakes

Enjoy these beautiful chocolate cupcakes made using Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white cake mix and frosted in layers with Betty Crocker® Whipped frosting – a delicious dessert.

Neapolitan Cupcakes

Servings: 24


  • 1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white cake mix
  • Water, vegetable oil and egg whites called for on cake mix box
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 container (12 oz) Betty Crocker® Whipped chocolate frosting
  • 1 container (12 oz) Betty Crocker® Whipped fluffy white frosting
  • 1 container (12 oz) Betty Crocker® Whipped strawberry mist frosting
  • Assorted Betty Crocker® Decorating Decors candy sprinkles
  • Additional miniature semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place white paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
  2. Make cake mix as directed on box for cupcakes, using water, oil and egg whites and adding almond extract and vanilla. Pour half of batter into small bowl; stir in cocoa and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Divide chocolate batter evenly among muffin cups. Carefully spoon white batter evenly over chocolate batter.
  3. Bake as directed on box. Cool 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  4. Frost cupcakes with a layer of chocolate frosting, white frosting and strawberry frosting. Decorate with candy sprinkles and additional chocolate chips.

Chicken Parmesan Soup

All of the flavours of chicken parmesan in a hearty soup that is pure comfort food!


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or oregano
  • 6 ounces pasta (gluten free for gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 handful basil, chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat, add the onion and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and fennel and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  3. Add the chicken broth, chicken, tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes before adding the pasta and simmering until it is cooked al-dente, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken, shred and mix it back into the soup.
  5. Mix in the parmesan until it melts, season with salt and pepper to taste, mix in the basil, remove from heat and enjoy!

Slow Cooker: Optionally implement steps 1 & 2, place everything but the pasta, cheese and basil into the slow cooker and cook for 6-10 hours on low or 2-4 hours on high before shredding the chicken, adding the pasta cheese and cooking on high until the pasta is cooked al-dente, about 10 minutes

Note: If you have the time this soup will benefit from being simmered longer before adding the pasta and if you have parmesan rinds, throw them in for the long simmer!

Option: Add some extra vegetables like diced zucchini.