Roasted Acorn Squash With A Rice Stuffing

Here is a lovely recipe for making a super delicious dinner. Give it a try!

  • 4 acorn squash, cut lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set out the acorn halves, flesh side up.

Mix together is a small fry pan the maple syrup, butter, oil, sage and ginger, cooking for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into the acorn halves and bake in the oven for about 40-45 minutes (until tender).

During the roasting time, brush the edges of the squash with maple syrup. When done, spoon the stuffing into each half.


  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, ribs removed and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves. minced
  • 2 cups wild rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • mixed herbs to make 1/2 cup in total (parsley, thyme, maybe some sage)
  • 2 Honey crisp apples, diced
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • pinch each of cinnamon and nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large oven proof pot, melt the butter and oil over medium heat and cook the onion, garlic and celery stirring often for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the rice, and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth, apricots, raisins and herbs, season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cover and bake for about 1 hour, until the moisture is absorbed and the rice is tender. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

While this is sitting, melt the remaining butter in a small fry pan, adding the apples, cinnamon and nutmeg until slightly softened (about 4 minutes) and stir into the rice.

Now spoon this into the squash halves and serve immediately.

Caramelized Pineapple With Ice Cream And Chocolate Ginger Sauce

This is a recipe that ‘cheats’ but don’t tell anyone….they will never know.


  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp. rum
  • 2 tbsp. chocolate sauce
  • 1/3 of fresh pineapple, cored and peeled
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • Vanilla, coffee or coconut ice cream
  • 1/4 cup sweetened, flaked coconut, toasted

Cut the pineapple in 12 wedges. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the pineapple and brown sugar, stir frequently, cooking only until the pineapple has softened and has turned a deep golden brown (3-5 minutes). Leave in the pan.

Drizzle the chocolate sauce in a zig zag pattern on each plate. Arrange the wedges so they are just slightly stacked. Scoop ice cream and place near the pineapple and sprinkle with the coconut.

This will serve 4 people….you may have to tell them NOT to lick their plates. HA!



Mushroom Gnocchi With A Fabulous Sauce

This is the perfect dish for the barbecue season. It is easy to make and so tasty.


  • 1/2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp. mushroom powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. flour

Boil the potatoes in a pot of water until soft. Drain and press the cooked potatoes through a ricer ( to achieve a smooth consistency)  into a mixing bowl. Add all the dry ingredients and egg and continue mixing until it forms a dough.

Roll the dough into a long tube shape and then cut into 1 inch pieces on a lightly floured surface.  Boil in lightly salted water for 2 minutes until they float. Remove from the water and cool slightly.



  • 12 baby carrots, peeled
  • 6 baby turnips, peeled, quartered
  • 12 white mushrooms, halved
  • 6 pearl onions, peeled
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • 2/3 cup red wine (Pinot Noir or a lovely Merlot)

In a pan on medium heat, glaze the onions with the wine for about 7-8 minutes until the onions are tender.

Cook the carrots and turnips until tender. In a separate pan, sauté the mushrooms in butter, add the gnocchi, the cooked vegetables, and onions. Carefully mix together.

Serve with your favourite bbq beef dish (ribs, roast, steak) and for sure, a glass of red wine.


Slow Roasting Veal With Balsamic Vinegar

You can buy veal, usually, in 1 lb. pieces or whole loins at about 3 lbs. If  you are serving company, buy two pieces. This way, those who prefer a veal better cooked can have end pieces. It is tasty and could be served with orzo and broccoli. Just suggesting…..


  • 3  lbs. veal tenderloin
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2  tbsp. red wine (Merlot or Pinot Noir))
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped Italian parsley

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sprinkle the salt and pepper and 2 tsp. rosemary over the veal, reserve the remainder.

Heat the oil and butter over high heat in a large skillet. Brown the veal all over (3 minutes each side) and place in a shallow roasting pan.

Pour off all but 2 tbsp. of the fat and add the onion, garlic and remaining rosemary. Saute for 1 minute then scatter into the roasting pan. Sprinkle in 2 tbsp. of the balsamic vinegar.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the veal is pink. Remove meat from the pan and add in the onion, garlic and any pan juices into the skillet. Place on medium high heat and add the red wine. Reduce until the wine has evaporated and add the stock, making sure to scrape up any ‘bits’ on the bottom of the skillet. Boil until reduced by half. Add remaining balsamic vinegar and return to the boil. Strain into a bowl and after reducing the temperature to low, add the butter and whisk to melt.

Taste and season if necessary and add the parsley. Thinly slice and drizzle the sauce over . YUMMMMMY!


Smoked Paprika Shrimp With Special Lime Dip

If you are planning company for Easter or perhaps planning a Bridal shower, this would be the perfect nibbler to have on hand (and show off)!



  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika (Hungarian is best)
  • 2/3 cup Chardonnay wine
  • 1 lb. jumbo raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley

In a large non-stick skillet, heat the oil over a medium high temperature and saute the shallots for about 2 minutes or until just starting to turn golden,. Add the wine and return to the boil and boil for 2 minutes or until reduced by half. Add the shrimp stirring constantly for approximately 4 minutes until the shrimp is pink and firm.

Lime Dip

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise (not salad dressing)
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice

To make the dip, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, lime zest and juice until completely integrated and smooth.

Put the dip in a very pretty bowl, along side the platter of shrimp. Be sure to have a separate bowl for the shrimp tail so people don’t put them in your plant pots. This will serve 8 so adjust accordingly to the number of people will be eating.

It goes without saying have on hand a container of party picks and napkins. Oh, did I forget to mention a glass of chilled wine as well? Silly me!

Lobster Profiteroles


‘Tis the season for entertaining and when we do this, we always should put our best foot forward…at least this is what I tell myself all the time. Believe me, sometimes…….


  • 1/4 cup homogenized milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 eggs, divided
  • 2 pre-made pie crusts, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups lobster meat, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp. grainy mustard
  • 2 tsp. fresh chives
  • 2 tsp. fresh tarragon, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the milk, water, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Now immediately take off the heat and add the flour all at once,stirring with a wooden spoon until well combined.

Return the pan to the heat, making sure to continuously stir to remove any excess liquid.  (about 60 seconds) Remove from the heat and cool just slightly. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one. The dough should be smooth, shiny and falling from the spoon in a thick ribbon.

Beat remaining egg with 1 tbsp. water to make an egg wash. Make 20 small mounds of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet. Lightly brush each one with the egg wash and bake, one tray at a time, until puffed, golden in colour and crisp on the outside (about 23-25 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

While these are baking, lightly flour a work surface and roll out the pie dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using a glass with a sharp edge, cut out 20 circles about 1 1/2 inches. Place these on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 6-8 minutes until they are golden brown and crisp.  Transfer these to a rack and cool down.

To finish these, mix the lobster meat with the mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard and tarragon until well combined.  Season with a little salt and freshly ground pepper (just lightly).

Cut off and discard the very top of the profiterole. Fill each one with lobster filling and top with a pastry crisp. Place on a serving platter and watch them dive in.

Serve with lovely Sauv. Blanc, chilled of course.





Party Fig Crostini

Not fair, I know, but we are blessed with a fig tree that is so awesome, I am able to make jam. So with that in mind, here we go.


  • 1 demi baguette, cut in 1/4 inch thick slices (36 slices)
  • 1/2 cup extras smooth ricotta
  • 1/4 cup fig jam (store bought is fine)
  • 5 thinly sliced black forest ham, that is cut in 4  (each slice)
  • butter

To build,  add a piece of ham on half of the bread slices. Spread some fig jam on another half of the bread slices and put together to make a sandwich. Brush both sides of the baguette with butter and set in a panini grill or a skillet. Cook until brown on one side and flip over to cook the other side the same. Be sure to press down lightly on the sandwiches. Remove from the skillet and keep warm, while finishing all the others.

When you bring this plate out of the kitchen to your waiting guests, you can keep that huge smile on your face and say “oh thank you, it was nothing”. Be sure to serve warm, have small plates and napkins and, of course, wine set out for everyone to help themselves.

Pasta With Mushrooms and Butternut Squash

An easy Friday night dinner to prepare and just relax. Pour a glass of wine , kick off the shoes, and set the table. Be sure to light the candle(s) to set the mood.


  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Asiago cheese, grated and divided
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 butternut squash peeled, halved and seeds removed
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 6-8 sage leaves, tear into small pieces
  • 10-12 oz. button mushrooms, brushed and quartered
  • 3/4  lbs. penne pasta

Preheat oven to 425. Toss the breadcrumbs with 2 tbsp. cheese and a pinch of salt.

Pour yourelf a glass of wine and begin. Cut the squash into 1/4 inch pieces. Toss squash with 3 tbsp. of oil , add the sage leaves and spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes.

Brush the mushrooms with remaining oil. Push the squash over in the pan and add the mushrooms, roasting for 10 minutes. Flip the vegetables and bake a further 20 minutes or until tender and golden in colour.

Remove the squash from the oven and sprinkle the mushrooms with the breadcrumb mixture and return to roast another 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, add the pasta and remaining cheese and add the vegetables. Gently stir (or toss) to combine.

More wine, perhaps?

If necessary, add a touch of pasta water to make a creamy sauce. Drizzle with more oil and cheese if warranted.

While this is happening, boil the penne in salted water and cook according to instructions.

Ladle into your prettiest Italian pasta bowls and enjoy. You can now exclaim….thank goodnss for Fridays.


Beef Tataki

Last night at a cooking class demonstration, Chef Jeremy Schorb from The Boathouse in White Rock, B.C. made this dish. His mother asked him to finish this off in the oven so “raw beef” would not be served. Tataki means “Raw”. Thank you Jeremy’s mother…at that point I loved you.

I have to say this was absolutely delicious. The marinade made it. This could be served on a crostini with some Burrata cheese and the beef as a perfect hors d’Oeurve at your next party.


  • 2 cups Soy sauce
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup good red wine
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. fresh minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. fresh minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 lb. beef tenderloin (or striploin)

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and whisk until well mixed.

Place the meat in a ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and let sit for 4-6 hours. Once done, remove the meat and discard the liquid. Pat the beef dry with a paper towel and place a frypan on high heat, adding small amount of canola oil. Sear all sides of the beef (about 2 minutes) and place in the oven to finish off (about 5-10 minutes) at 400 degrees. Let rest.

As noted, this can no longer be called tataki but is sooooo much better.

Slice very thin and serve. Last night ours was served on a small mound of a radish slaw, the thinly sliced beef and a gorgeous scallop. Yeah, it sucks to be us living here and able to attend these classes.

Special Blood Orange Cocktail

‘Tis the season to be jolly and when your company arrrives, what better way to welcome them with this special ‘signature drink’.

Each year, I tried to have a different special welcome to our home drink. This is easy, super tasty and such a pretty colour as well.


  • 1 cup blood orange juice
  • 1 cup Grand Marnier
  • 1 750 ml bottle of sparkling wine

Stir the juice and liqueur together in a pitcher, cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator until well chilled.

Divide among some chilled martini glasses. Toast the New Year and the         conversation will start.

In case I didn’t mention it…….yummy!

Sliders For The Party

Be it a football party or entertaining for the holiday season, these are great little “bites” to serve.  Make the meatballs with a gentle touch and don’t make them packed too hard. These are cooked right in the sauce. YUMMY !


  • 2 slices white bread, cut into 1 inch pieces,
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 8 oz. lean ground beef
  • 8 oz. ground pork
  • 4 oz. ground veal
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Romano or Parmesan cheese (1 oz.)
  • 3 tbsp. coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • pinch of pepper
  • 6 cups Marinara Sauce (homemade or bottled)
  • 2 dozen Brioche buns, split
  • 1  1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup-finely grated Romano cheese
  • Small basil leaves (or larger ones, torn)

Soak the bread in the milk for about 5 minutes, now mix together the bread, meat, cheese, parsley, egg and pinch of salt. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Pour a coffee, tidy the work-space…whatever…then roll out 24 x 1 oz. meatballs. They should look like golf balls.

Pour the marinara sauce in a large pot and when at a simmer, add the meatballs and cook on for 20-25 minutes.

When ready to serve, heat the oven to 400 degrees, arrange the buns, cut side up on the cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place 1 meatball, 1 tbsp. of the sauce and 1 tbsp of the mozzarella cheese, along with a 1 tsp of the romano cheese on the bottom half.

Bake for about 3 minutes until the cheese melts. Remove from the oven, add a basil leaf on top and place the bun top on. Put on a tray and, with a handful of plates and napkins placed on the table, present this.

Ohhhs and ahhhs for sure. The smells, looks and tastes will make you the hit for the day. Yeah, you deserve that glass of wine (or beer).