Reuben Meat Loaf

This is the recipe you want when your family becomes tired of the same old, same old recipe you always use. It captures all the flavours of the Reuben sandwich everyone loves.

  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. thick Teriyaki sauce
  • 2 cups soft bread crumbs
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 can sauerkraut (8 0z) rinsed well and thoroughly drained
  • 4 – 5 oz. pastrami (deli cut) chopped
  • 1 cup  Swiss Cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. prepared mustard (yellow or grainy)

In a large bowl, mix together the ketchup, teriyaki sauce, egg, salt and bread crumbs. Crumble the ground beef into the crumbs and mix well.

In another bowl, mix together the sauerkraut, pastrami, sour cream and mustard.

Press one third (approx.) of the meat into a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan that has been prepared by using Pam spray.

Top with one half of the pastrami. Repeat the layers, finishing with the last of the meat.

In a preheated oven of 350 degrees, bake for one hour. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.


Serve with perfectly mashed potatoes,  chilled salad and warm rolls. What a night! Damn, you did this….AGAIN!




Citrus Beer Can Chicken Dinner

I am sure everyone has prepared or eaten a chicken cooked this way on the barbecue and this is a small variation of that, and just as delicious.


  • 3 potatoes (yellow flesh)
  • 1 fresh corn on the cob
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 zucchini
  • 1/2 small yellow squash
  • 3 carrots, peeled
  • 4 oz. small onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 lb. fresh peas in the pod
  • 1 fresh chicken
  • 1 bottle of Rickard’s Radler Grapefruit Beer
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach, leaves torn in half
  • olive oil

Peel the potatoes, cut into chunks and blanch them. Drain and set aside. Clean the corn and boil for approximately 10 minutes . Drain and slice into thick ‘wheels’. Set aside.

Halve the peppers, remove all the seeds and cut into broad strips. Cut the squash, zucchini and carrots in pieces. Peel the onions and garlic and chop coarsely. Finely chop the thyme and rosemary and then mix all the ingredients together. Sprinkle olive oil over and lightly salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the peas from the pods and set in a small bowl. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and rub all over with olive oil.

In a barbecue with a temperature of 350 degrees, open the beer up and pour a small layer of beer into the drip pan. Place the can in the beer can chicken rack and place the poor chicken on top. (such indignities bestowed on the chicken). Position the chicken in the pan and set the vegetable mixture around the chicken (except the peas) and roast for about 40 minutes. Mix the peas in now and cook about 5 minutes longer or until the temperature in the leg reaches 165 degrees. Carefully remove the pan with all the contents off the barbecue and tent with foil and set aside.

Take the chicken off the rack and cut off the breasts and legs. Spread the vegetables in a large bowl, place the chicken on top and garnish with a few spinach leaves.

Serve with a crisp salad, more chilled beer or wine and enjoy.



Chicken Enchiladas With A Poblano And Spinach Cream

You don’t have to buy the frozen enchiladas when you can make something as tasty as these.


  • 2 fresh poblano peppers
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 6 tbsp. butter, not margarine
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups coarsely shredded cooked roast chicken
  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Roast the peppers over open flame for about 5 minutes, turning often until the skins have blistered and blackened on all sides OR lay them on a baking sheet 4 inches below the broiler (8-10 minutes) also turning on all sides. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to allow them to steam. When cool enough, peel off the black outer skin and seeds. Chop the flesh coarsely and add to a blender. Add the fresh spinach and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9 x 13 baking dish and set aside. In a medium sized saucepan, add the milk and stock and warm up. In a large saucepan melt the butter, add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Now raise the heat and add the milk mixture, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil and reduce the temperature and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Pour half of the mixture into the blender and process until smooth. Pour this back into the saucepan with the remaining sauce. If needed, season with a little salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a bowl and stir in one cup of the sauce. Divided the chicken equally in the tortillas and roll up.

Place these in the baking dish, seam side down. Pour the remaining sauce over all and top with the shredded cheese. Bake until the enchiladas are heated through and the cheese has melted. (18-20 minutes).

Serve immediately with a crisp salad, glass of chilled white wine and the world is yours for the ‘eating’.


Dinner For Two On Valentine’s Day

I wanted to share what occurred yesterday in our home. A home that was over-flowing with love in ways others may not understand. It was so beautiful and the pictures today will show you just how beautiful and meaningful it was…for us!

My husband has a knack for finding the most perfect card (for any occasion) that always brings a tear. We decided this year, due to the fact we are hoping to change our residence, celebrating our 25th Anniversary and taking a mini vacation later on in the Fall, we would buy each other a card, enjoy a dinner at home and simply enjoy the day.

I set the table a couple of days ago, bought fresh flowers (Tulips- one of my most favourite) in three colours to go with the table setting and bought a couple of reddish candles. I did not want the Christmas red and these appeared more mellow.

Don asked me what I wanted for dinner…I immediately answered scallops with your famous salsa. Then he asked me to make his favourite desert New Orleans Bread Pudding With A Whiskey Sauce and it grew from there. He added Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Coleslaw (OH,OH,OH…MY FAVOURITE. ) No one can make this like Don. In fact, I won ‘t eat it anywhere but here. Somewhere down the line he added Baked Beans (his way). Then he added Crab stuffed Zucchini With Melted Cheese on top. Grrrroooaaannnn!

So…our meal was something like this:

Crab Stuffed Zucchini

Scallops With Papaya Salsa

Pulled Pork Sandwiches With Coleslaw

Baked Beans

New Orleans Bread Pudding With Whiskey Sauce


Fresh Coffee

We took our time, enjoyed each course and chatted about our favourite things we have done over the past 28 years (27 Valentine’s). It was so enjoyable and quite a few giggles along the way.

This was simple (for us) done with love, and a sense of mystique as well. I have saved every card we have given each other over all these years and have, from time to time, gone over them a few times. Nothing can take away the feelings these conjur up each and every time they are read. I hope, one day, that our children will read these cards and see that, yes, a real love can come on the second go-round.

Yes, we celebrated our way and now the next celebration is Easter and then birthdays…….

I am so thankful for my life and what it gives this home of ours in love replenishing.


Coconut Crab Dip With Plantain Chips

This recipe is a great snack to have when watching the Super Bowl Game this weekend. I know you have gone beyond the same old beer and pretzels and look how surprised and happy your friends will be when you bring this out.


Plantain Chips

  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • Crisco Oil for frying
  • 4 green plantains (about 1 1/2 lbs.)

In a small bowl combine the salt and chili powder and set aside. Heat oil in a deep fryer or large deep pot over medium heat until 375 degrees shows on a deep fry thermometer. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside.

Peel the plantains and with a vegetable peeler, slice lengthwise. Fry the slices about 4 or 5 at a time, turning frequently until they become golden. (about 35-40 seconds). Transfer to the baking sheet and repeat until all are cooked.

If making ahead, store in an airtight container at room temperature for no more than 2 days.


Crab Dip

  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, divided
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1 green onion, trimmed and chopped fine
  • 1 Thai chili, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice (fresh)
  • 3 tins Ocean’s Crabmeat (Costco has 5 in a pkg.)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 3 tbsp. chopped mango for garnish
  • lime wedges
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scatter the coconut over a baking sheet and toast, stirring often until lightly browned and fragrant (3-4 minutes). Set aside.

In a blender add remaining 1/2 cup coconut and the hot water. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Blend on high for 2 minutes until mixture is a smooth thick puree. Add the onion and chili and blend another minute.

In a medium size bowl stir together the mayonnaise, cream cheese and lime juice until smooth. Add the coconut mixture and stir until well combined. Fold in the crabmeat and cilantro. Taste then season with salt and pepper.

To serve transfer dip to a bowl and garnish with the toasted coconut, mango and lime wedges. Serve with the plantain chips (standing up in a glass for show).

If drinking wine, a Sav. Blanc would be perfect. Ice cold Corona with lime would be excellent as well.


Grape Panzanella Salad

This is a lovely yet light salad.  Great for getting back on track.


  • 4 slices Italian bread
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • ground fresh pepper
  • 1 cup green seedless grapes, halved
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes, cut in half
  • pint of multi- coloured cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 log of goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush 4 x 1  inch slices of day old Italian Bread with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake until toasted, turning over once. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Cut a garlic clove in half and rub the cut side on the toasted bread. Chop the bread into bite-size pieces. When done, it should measure about 5 cups.

Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar with the honey in a large bowl. Season with a sprinkle of ground pepper.  Add the grapes and tomatoes, tossing to coat.

Divide the bread cubes onto 4 salad plates. Spoon out the grape mixture over the bread, Sprinkle the goat cheese over the top along with the basil and toasted pecans.

This is delightful.

Christmas Morning Sausage Rolls

Ever since I can remember, my mom made THE best sausage rolls ever as the pastry she made no one has ever come close to matching. Now, Don has taken up the challenge and he makes THE best. We always got up, and as we opened our gifts, we had sausage rolls. This is a tradition I hope never goes away.

  • 2 tsp. dried sage
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 2 lbs. finely ground pork
  • Puff Pastry
  • 1 egg, well beaten with a bit of water added

In a small bowl, combine the sage, salt, pepper, marjoram, brown sugar, pepper flakes and cloves, mixing really well.

Place the pork in a small bowl and add the mixed spices to it. Mix with your hands and form logs (best way is to roll up in saran wrap).

Roll out the puff pastry, and lay the sausage meat (removing the saran first, of course) and roll in the pastry. Cut into either bite-sized pieces to offer guests with their wine or larger pieces for the breakfast run.

Brush an egg wash over the surface of the pastry and bake in an oven for 38 minutes at 375 degrees.

Christmas morning, simply place in the oven to warm up, and get the ketchup ready.

Cauliflower With Brown Butter And Sweet Paprika

This is a wonderful and tasty dish to serve family and guests alike.

  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3-1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 1 large head of Cauliflower, leaves removed
  • 6-8 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. Hungarian sweet paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast the panko crumbs in a skillet until golden in colour (about 3 minutes). Let cool completely then stir in the salt and cheese.

Place a steamer basket in a pot filled with water just below the basket. Place the cauliflower in, cover and steam for 10 minutes until fork tender. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Melt butter in a saucepan until browned (about 8 minutes). Remove from heat, pour half the brown butter over the cauliflower and sprinkle about half of the panko mixture.

With a paring knife, cut the cauliflower into chunks and pour the remaining butter over the top, sprinkle with the remaining panko mixture and serve immediately.

Meatball Tomato Casserole

This would work just as well as a make ahead-freeze for another time dinner.


  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 lb. ground LEAN beef
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2-3 drops hot sauce
  • 1 can whole peeled tomatoes (28 oz.), pureed
  • Optional: 3 fresh Basil leaves
  • 8 oz. Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

Mix together the pork, beef, panko crumbs, Asiago cheese, salt, eggs and garlic in a large bowl. When completely mixed together, form into 2 inch balls.

Heat the coconut oil in a large ovenproof skillet over a medium heat. Add the meatballs, turning over to brown surfaces (8-9 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate.

Now reduce the heat and add the shallot and hot sauce. Cook until the shallot has softened. Add the tomato puree and basil. Simmer until the sauce begins to thicken. (7-8 minutes).

Return the meatballs to the skillet along with any of the juices to the pan. Cook on a simmer for 20 minutes being sure to turn the meatballs only once.

Heat the broiler and arrange the mozzarella slices over the top of the meatballs. Broil for about 3 minutes until the cheese has melted. Serve with an ice cold salad.









Trout With Fennel Croquettes And Special Sauce

I absolutely love trout and here is a wonderful way to prepare and serve this goodie.


  • 4 x 4 oz. trout fillets
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 12 fennel croquettes (make ahead – recipe here)
  • Pastis Sauce (make ahead – recipe here)


Pastis Sauce With Vegetables

  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely sliced
  • 1/2 bulb of fennel, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp. anise-flavoured liqueur
  • 1 cup fish stock
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

Heat the butter and oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan over a medium heat. Reduce heat and add the shallot and fennel. Cook covered until soft. Add the white wine and anise flavoured liqueur and bring to a boil, cooking and stirring until reduced by half. Add the stock and cook until reduced by half again, before adding the cream. Bring back to the boil and reduce until it thickens slightly. Taste, seasoning with salt and pepper as necessary.

Strain the sauce and keep the fennel and shallots separate from the sauce. Set both aside for plating.


Fennel Croquettes

  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bulb fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 pinch of fennel seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying

Cook potatoes, drain and return to the saucepan. Place on the burner and shake the pan for about 60 seconds to ensure the moisture has evaporated. Use a ricer or food mill and process into a large bowl until smooth. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Heat the oil and butter in a skillet until melted and add the shallot, fennel and fennel seeds. Cover and cook until soft (7-8 minutes). Pour into a blender and process until smooth. Add to the potatoes and mix well. Season lightly and taste. Cool to room temperature.

Roll into 1 inch balls and roll in flour, then the beaten egg and finally the panko crumbs. Repeat until all the potato mixture is done.

Heat the oil in a deep saucepan. Fry the croquettes in the hot oil for about 4 minutes until a beautiful golden colour. Remove to a paper lined plate and set aside.


Trout Fillets

Pat the fish dry with a paper towel on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the fish and cook for about 4 minutes each side. (should be springy to the touch).

To plate, place a mound of the fennel mixture on the plate, add the trout in the center and surround with the croquettes. Spoon the sauce around the plate.


Savory Walnut Ravioli

  • You would almost think this would be a dessert but it is a savory dish that pairs beautifully with spring lamb. It can also be used as an appetizer. By using prepared wonton skins, you take a gourmet dish and make it simple.

This will serve 6.


  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cups Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp. chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 36 prepared wonton skins 3″ x 3″
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

For the filling mix together the ricotta and Gorgonzola cheeses, pepper and 3 tbsp. walnuts. Drop 2 generous tsp. of filling onto 18 wonton skins. Dampen the top edges with water. Top each skin with another wonton skin and press to seal.

Gently drop the ravioli into the boiling water. Cook for 2 1/2-3 minutes or until the ravioli rises to the surface. Drain carefully with a slotted spoon. Place 3 ravioli on each serving plate.

Melt the butter in a saucepan then heat the walnuts in the butter. Spoon butter and walnuts over the ravioli and sprinkle parmesan cheese over.

Oh my goodness…..yummy!

The Very Best Roasted Vegetables

We are always looking for ways to make vegetables even better tasting and this is a great way to do it. Even “Mikey” will like them. Try it and you will want to repeat often.

  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 2 large turnips, peeled
  • 2 parsnips, peeled
  • 2 large beets,unpeeled
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the carrots and parsnips diagonally. Cut the turnips in half, then in 1/4 inch pieces.

In a separate pot, boil the beets until just tender, cool down to touch, then cut in half and then into 1/4 inch pieces. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add the carrots to the water and cook for one minute, then add the turnips, and parsnips until just tender. Drain and add ALL the vegetables onto a parchment lined baking sheet, stir in the butter, maple syrup and bake, turning frequently until completely glazed. (8-10 minutes)

Serve immediately with a light sprinkle of the chopped thyme leaves.

**Note: The pictures show more vegetables. We couldn’t locate any parsnips so Don added Brussel Sprouts, Sweet potato and baby potatoes (just cut in half). The only thing I would have added would have been 1 more tbsp. of maple syrup. Mind you, when you pour them into a large bowl, all the juices coat the vegetables and it is wonderful.