Monday, September 20, 2021

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

sun-dried tomato pasta

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

If you are looking for a slightly different version of a pesto, then you should try this sun-dried tomato pesto.  It’s easy to make with mostly pantry items, which is always a bonus.  If you don’t have pecans, you can also use almonds or walnuts.  

Serves 4

2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup pecans
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup olive oil
454 grams dry linguine
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Grated fresh Parmesan cheese for serving

Purée the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, pecans, olives, Parmesan cheese and olive oil in a food processor. Cook pasta according to package and drain. Mix in the sun-dried tomato mixture and minced parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Serve, passing the Parmesan cheese.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Looking for another pesto recipe?

spinach basil pesto
Spinach and Basil Pesto

Monday, August 9, 2021

Blueberry Cake

Blueberry Cake
Blueberry Cake

Blueberries are plentiful at this time of year. They're great in muffins, pancakes, smoothies and fruit desserts. Here's a delicious cake recipe to try that's bursting with blueberry flavour.

Blueberry Cake 

You can use either fresh or frozen blueberries in this recipe.

Makes one cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups blueberries, frozen or fresh
Whipping cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Grease and 8-inch square (20x20cm) baking pan. 

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and set aside. 

In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk; batter will be stiff. 

Spread 1/2 batter into prepared pan. Spread blueberries on top. 

Drop spoonfuls of remaining batter over blueberries and try to spread it out evenly (this is a bit tricky).

Bake for 50 minutes or until the cake is cooked and the tester comes out clean. Serve warm with whipping cream if desired.

Blueberry Cake
Blueberry Cake

The great thing about blueberries is that they freeze easily. Purchase copious amounts when they are in season (which is now), give them a rinse and freeze them flat on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Place the frozen berries into a freezer bag to be used throughout the year. 

Try another blueberry recipe:

Pear apple blueberry cobbler

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Apple Crisp with Oats and Brown Sugar

Apple Crisp with oats and brown sugar

I always, well, almost always, serve a fruit crisp on Sunday night dinner.  

The crisp is always different depending on my mood and the available fruit.  

This apple crisp was made with a macoun apple which I'd purchased while driving in the magnificent Kootenays region in beautiful British Columbia. It's an area filled with rich soil and super sunshine producing fantastic fruit for the province.  

I've never had a macoun apple and was pleasantly surprised by it's taste. It's a cross between a macintosh and a jersey black apple. It was excellent in this apple crisp!

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

Serves 6

6-8 spartan or macintosh apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup large rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup soft butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  

Cut up enough apples to fill a11x7x2 inch baking pan.  It will depend on the size of the apple how many you use. 

I like to use an apple that softens when baked and I recommend the spartan or the macintosh apples. If you feel the macintosh apple is sour, feel free to mix in one tablespoon of white sugar.

In a medium-size bowl combine rolled oats, brown sugar, and salt. With your fingertips rub in the soft butter until it's combined. Sprinkle mixture on top of the fruit and cook for 45 minutes.

Serve plain, with vanilla ice cream or whipping cream. 

Apple Crisp
Apple crisp with oats and brown sugar

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Spaghetti with Tomato Meat Sauce

spaghetti and meat sauce
Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
Everyone should have a go-to tomato meat sauce recipe in your recipe box.  Here’s one that’s sure to become a family favourite.

spaghetti with meat sauce

Spaghetti With Tomato Meat Sauce

Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound extra-lean ground beef
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 28 fl oz can plum tomatoes
4 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh parmesan cheese, grated
Red pepper flakes (optional)


Heat oil over medium-high heat in a heavy, medium-sized saucepan. Add onions and cook five minutes, add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add beef, turn up heat and stir-fry until no longer pink. Add basil and oregano and stir one minute more. Stir in tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare spaghetti noodles as per package directions. When cooked, drain and add to plates. Top with meat sauce.

Serve and pass the parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes, if using.

spaghetti with meat sauce

Other Pasta Dishes To Try:

Pasta Carbonara

Pasta with Tuna and Capers
Pasta with Tuna and Capers

Friday, June 25, 2021

Grilled Chicken with Sesame-Lime Marinade

Grilled chicken with sesame lime marinade

Grilled Chicken with Sesame-Lime Marinade 

This marinade can also be used with fish. It’s simple and perfect for your next barbecue.

Serves 4

For the marinade: 

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup canola oil

1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts


Mix first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Place chicken in a plastic zip-top bag with marinade. Chill in fridge for one hour or longer. 

Prepare barbecue. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding the liquid. 

Grill chicken breasts until opaque in the middle, about 15 minutes depending on the thickness, turning every four minutes.

Serve with mayo, capers, dill, herb sauce.

Grilled chicken with a mayo, dill, capers herb sauce

Mayo, Dill, Capers, Herb Sauce

mayo, dill, capers herb sauce
Delicious sauce good for grilled chicken, fish and new potatoes

Mayo, Dill, Capers, Herb Sauce

This is a versatile sauce to serve with grilled chicken or fish. It’s also great on new potatoes, or as a veggie dip.  

Recipe makes 1 cup of sauce

3 tablespoons capers, drained
1/4 cup chopped dill pickle
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh chives
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh dill
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste


In a food processor, puree all ingredients. With machine running add olive oil in a steady stream. 

Serve with grilled chicken.

Other Recipes to Try:

Greek Chicken with Tzatziki

Barbecue Chicken

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Greek Couscous Salad

Greek Couscous Salad

Couscous Salad with a Greek Flavour 

This salad is similar to a Greek salad, but is made with couscous. The ingredients are a nice blend of Kalamata olives, red onions, fresh mint and topped with feta cheese.  It's perfect for a side dish or for lunch.

Serves 6
2/3 cup dry couscous
1 cup boiling water
1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 tomato, diced
1 cup cucumber, diced
12 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
2/3 cup red onion, chopped
4 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place couscous in a bowl. Pour boiling water over, stir, and cover with a plate or parchment paper on top and set aside. After 10 minutes, remove cover and fluff with a fork. 

Add garbanzo beans, red bell pepper, olives, red onion, mint, olive oil, lemon juice and feta cheese. Toss well. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Greek Couscous Salad
Couscous salad with a greek theme

Other Salads to try:

Friday, June 11, 2021

Vegetarian Tamale Pie


Vegetarian Tamale Pie
Vegetarian Tamale Pie with Cheddar Cheese Cornmeal Topping

Vegetarian Tamale Pie With Cornmeal Cheddar Topping

This recipe is similar to a vegetarian chili, but it has a yummy topping made with cheddar cheese and cornmeal. It’s a perfect weekday meal to serve to your family.

Serves 4


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 large carrot, diced small
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 jalapeño chili pepper, seeded and diced
1 tomato, chopped
398 ml (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juice
398 ml (14 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste

Cornmeal Topping:

2/3 cup cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons melted butter


Preheat oven to 350° F.

For the chili: 

Heat oil in a dutch oven or heavy pot. Add onions and garlic and sauté seven minutes until soft. 
Add carrots, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper and tomato and sauté for five minutes.  
Add cumin, oregano, chili powder and sauté one minute more.  Add canned tomatoes and beans. Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes.

For the topping:

In a mixing bowl, combine shredded cheese, cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. 
In a small separate bowl, combine egg, buttermilk and melted butter. 
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  
Spoon batter onto vegetable mixture and bake 30 minutes or until golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean.

Vegetarian Tamale Pie

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Strawberries and Chocolate Shortcake

Strawberry and chocolate shortcake
Strawberries with Chocolate Shortcake

Strawberry Chocolate Shortcake

This is an easy elegant dessert to serve to family and friends. It calls for bittersweet chocolate, which can be found at your local grocery store. You could also use chocolate chips and chop them finely.

Ingredients for strawberry Chocolate Shortcake
Chocolate, butter, sugar, flour ingredients in shortcake

Serves 8

2 pounds strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 tablespoons white sugar

For the shortcake:

2 cups flour
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into tiny pieces
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup buttermilk

Whipping cream, freshly whipped


Place berries in a bowl and sprinkle sugar on top. Stir and set aside.

For the shortcake:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

Add butter and rub in with fingertips until it resembles coarse meal. Add chocolate and buttermilk. With a fork, stir until a dough forms.

Transfer dough to the cake pan and bake until golden on top, about 30 minutes.

When cooked, cut shortcake into eight wedges.

Slice each wedge in half. Place half a wedge on a plate, cover with strawberries and whipping cream. Then, add top wedge and cover with more strawberries. Add a large dollop of whipping cream on top and serve.

Strawberries with chocolate shortcake
Chocolate shortcake with strawberries

Friday, May 28, 2021

Strawberry and Rhubarb Cobbler

Strawberry and Rhubarb Cobbler

This cobbler has a nice mix of sweet and sour flavours. The scrumptious sweet biscuit topping will have you coming back for seconds (or thirds!)

Rhubarb and Strawberry Cobbler

Serves 4

3 large rhubarb stalks, thinly sliced
1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoons lemon juice


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 350° F.

To prepare the filling, place the rhubarb and strawberries into a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. Mix in sugar and lemon juice.


In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into the flour mixture using your fingertips until crumbly and pea-sized pieces of butter remain. Add buttermilk and vanilla. With a fork, stir until all is combined. Drop blobs of dough on top of fruit and bake for 45 minutes.

Cobbler Dessert with Rhubarb and Strawberry
Rhubarb and Strawberry Cobbler