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July 29, 2017

Cherry Crumble

Serves 6


1 pound tart cherries, frozen
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger, optional
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt


6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten well

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375°F.

Spread the frozen cherries in an ungreased 9x9-inch baking dish, deep pie pan, or similar-sized dish. Toss the cherries with the sugar, flour, ginger, cinnamon, and salt.

Cut the butter into several pieces and melt over low heat in a small saucepan. Raise the heat slightly after it has melted, and cook, swirling frequently, until the butter has turned nutty brown. Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the beaten egg and use your hands to combine the dry ingredients and egg. As you work the egg into the flour, it will form small moist crumbs. Sprinkle these over the cherries, then drizzle the browned butter over the topping.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is browned and the cherries are bubbling. Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or unsweetened whipped cream.



3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 eggs, whisked
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 small white onion, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
4 cups cooked and chilled rice (I prefer short-grain white rice)
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3-4 tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste
2 teaspoons oyster sauce (optional)
1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until melted. Add egg, and cook until scrambled, stirring occasionally. Remove egg, and transfer to a separate plate.
Add an additional 1 tablespoon butter to the pan and heat until melted. Add carrots, onion, peas and garlic, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onion and carrots are soft. Increase heat to high, add in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter, and stir until melted. Immediately add the rice, green onions, soy sauce and oyster sauce (if using), and stir until combined. Continue stirring for an additional 3 minutes to fry the rice. Then add in the eggs and stir to combine. Remove from heat, and stir in the sesame oil until combined.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.




July 22, 2017

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken

The key to brightening up a slow-cooked dish is to add fresh elements right at the end. In this recipe, peas, cilantro and lime wedges do the trick.


¾ c. light coconut milk
2 tbsp. natural creamy reduced-fat peanut butter
1 tbsp. red curry paste
1 tsp. grated ginger
1½ lb. boneless chicken thighs
2 red bell peppers
1 large onion
1 lb. rice noodles
1 c. frozen peas
¼ c. fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges, for serving



In a 5- to 6-qt slow cooker, combine the coconut milk, peanut butter, curry paste and ginger; mix in the chicken, peppers and onion.
Cook, covered, until chicken is cooked through, on low for 5 to 6 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
Twenty minutes before serving, cook the noodles according to package directions. Stir the peas into the chicken mixture, and cook, covered, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Spoon the chicken, vegetables and sauce over the noodles and sprinkle with the cilantro; serve with the lime wedges, if desired.


Slow Cooker Asian Pork Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw

These pork tacos are made with an Asian spin, using ingredients like soy sauce and orange zest.


1 large navel orange
¼ c. balsamic vinegar
¼ c. packed dark brown sugar
2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
2 clove garlic
1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 pork shoulder
2 tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
½ small head red cabbage
1 medium carrot
8 small flour tortillas


Using a vegetable peeler, remove 4 strips of zest from the orange (reserve the orange). In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, red pepper, and orange zest.
Add the pork and toss to coat. Cook, covered, until the pork is tender and shreds easily, 7 to 8 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high.
Thirty minutes before serving, make the slaw. Squeeze the juice from the orange into a large bowl (you should have about 1/2 cup). Whisk in the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Core and thinly slice the cabbage. Cut the carrot into matchsticks. Add the vegetables to the vinaigrette and toss to combine.
Warm the tortillas according to package directions. Using two forks, shred the pork into large pieces; gently toss in the cooking liquid. Fill the tortillas with the pork mixture and top with the slaw.



July 15, 2017

Watermelon & Feta Salad


700 g watermelon
1 small red onion
180 g feta cheese
1 bunch of fresh mint
extra virgin olive oil



Scoop out and chop the watermelon flesh into chunks, discarding the peel.
Peel and finely slice the onion, crumble the feta, then pick the mint leaves, tearing any larger ones.
Place it all into a bowl and combine. Drizzle over a little oil and season with black pepper.


July 08, 2017

Brined Shrimp with Charred Corn Salad

photo Caitlin Bensel


1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 qt. water
1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cups fresh yellow corn kernels (from about 4 ears)
1 cup thinly sliced baby red bell pepper rings
1 cup vertically sliced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

How to Make It

Combine salt and 1 quart water in a medium bowl, stirring until the salt dissolves. Add shrimp to brine; cover bowl with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add corn, bell pepper, and onion; cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are lightly charred and tender. Place corn mixture in a large bowl. Stir in chives, vinegar, and oil.
Wipe skillet clean; return to medium-high. Remove shrimp from brine; pat dry between paper towels. Sprinkle shrimp with chili powder. Add shrimp to pan; cook 1 minute on each side or until done. Serve shrimp with salad.



12 servings
15 minutes
40 minutes
55 minutes
Fluffy buttermilk biscuits are smothered in creamy sausage gravy.


For the Biscuits:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
¾ cup buttermilk
For the Sausage Gravy:

1 pound breakfast sausage
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons black pepper
½ teaspoon seasoned salt


Make the Biscuits: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (do not grease your baking sheet).
Place the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl or the workbowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Whisk together or process with six pulses.
If making by hand, use a pastry blender or your fingertips to quickly cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal with a few slightly larger butter lumps. If using a food processor, distribute the butter evenly over the dry ingredients. Cover and process with twelve pulses.
If making by hand, stir in the buttermilk with a rubber spatula or fork until the mixture forms a soft, slightly sticky ball. If using a food processor, remove the cover and pour the buttermilk evenly over the dough. Process until the dough gathers into moist clumps, about eight pulses.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and quickly form into a rough ball. Be careful not to overmix. Pat the dough into a ¾-inch-thick circle. Cut out the dough rounds with a 2-inch biscuit cutter. Push together the remaining pieces of dough, again pat into a ¾-inch-thick circle, and cut out several more dough rounds. Discard the remaining scraps. Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake until the biscuit tops are light brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove baking sheet to a wire cooling rack while the sausage gravy is prepared.
Make the Sausage Gravy: Cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink, crumbling it into bite-size pieces as it cooks.
Reduce the heat to medium and sprinkle half of the flour over the sausage, stirring to dissolve it. Add the rest of the flour and again stir for about 1 minute, until all of the flour has been dissolved.
Slowly pour in the milk, stirring constantly as it is added. Cook the gravy, stirring frequently, until it begins to thicken (10 to 15 minutes). Season the gravy with the black pepper and seasoned salt and continue to cook until it is very thick. Spoon the gravy over the buttermilk biscuits to serve. Leftover gravy can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If it is too thick when reheated, simply add a splash or two of milk to thin it out a bit.



July 01, 2017



4 California avocados

¼ cup lemon juice

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt, plus more to finish

2 egg whites

2½ cups panko bread crumbs

1½ teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder


2 tomatoes, diced

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup sour cream

Zest and juice of 1 lime

12 small flour tortillas

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; grease the parchment with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Halve the avocados. Remove the pits and then remove the flesh from the skin. Cut each half into 6 thick slices (you’ll get 12 slices per avocado; 48 total).

3. Place the lemon juice in a small bowl. In a large, shallow bowl, stir the flour with the salt to combine. In another large, shallow bowl, lightly whisk the egg whites. In a third large, shallow bowl, stir the bread crumbs with the cumin and garlic powder to combine.

4. Working in batches, dip each piece of avocado first into the lemon juice, then into the flour mixture, then into the egg white, then into the bread crumb mixture. Transfer the breaded avocado slices to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining avocado slices.

5. Bake until the breading is golden brown and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes.

6. While the avocados cook, stir the tomatoes with the scallions and garlic in a medium bowl to make an easy pico de gallo. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

7. In a small bowl, stir the sour cream with the lime zest and lime juice to combine. If desired, warm the tortillas in a medium skillet over high heat (30 seconds to 1 minute per side).

8. Place 4 avocado slices on each tortilla and then top each with a spoonful of pico de gallo, a drizzle of lime crema and a few cilantro leaves. Place three tacos on each plate and serve immediately.




June 17, 2017

Oven-Baked BBQ Ribs

We wish we had written the Chili's baby back rib anthem. You see, these easy oven-baked, tender and flavorful ribs make us want to sing. Marinated in a sweet and spicy dry rub and baked low and slow, the meat on these baby back ribs is so tender it falls off the bone. We want our baby back, baby back, baby back ribs...
2 (2 lb. each) racks baby back ribs
Rib Rub
½ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ cup beef broth
¾ cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
1) To prepare the ribs, remove membrane from the underside of the ribs. In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, paprika, salt, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin and pepper. Generously rub ribs with spice mixture until evenly coated on all sides. Wrap ribs tightly in aluminum foil and marinate in the refrigerator anywhere from 6 hours to overnight.
2) Remove ribs from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat oven to 275ºF and line a shallow roasting pan with aluminum foil. Pour beef broth into the bottom of the roasting pan. Unwrap ribs from aluminum foil and place, meaty side up over broth. Cover pan tightly with 2 sheets of aluminum foil and bake 3 ½ hours until the meat falls easily from the bone. Remove from oven and carefully unwrap foil. Coat ribs with your favorite barbeque sauce and continue to bake uncovered 20 minutes more.

(click here for more Father's day recipes courtesy of our ZOOMER friends)


Salt Potatoes

Salt Potatoes
6-8 servings

2 pounds white- or yellow-skinned baby potatoes (about 1 inch in diameter), scrubbed
2 ounces best-quality sea salt, like sel gris or Maldon
A distillation of several salt potato recipes from around the world, this version uses sea salt for deliberate mineral flavor and boils the brine until it evaporates for maximum salt crystallization on the potatoes’ skins. Use the freshest baby potatoes you can find—preferably new potatoes from an early summer farmers’ market. Serve with melted butter or an herby sauce, like mojo verde or aji.

Combine the potatoes and salt in a wide pot and add enough water to just cover the potatoes. Set the pot over high heat and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat as needed to maintain a vigorous simmer and cook potatoes until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Pour off all but ½ inch of water, if needed, then return the pan to the stove. Increase the heat to high and roll the potatoes around in the reduced salt water until the water evaporates and the salt crystallizes, about 3 minutes. Continue rolling the potatoes around until the pan is completely dry, the potatoes are coated in an even salt crust, and the skins appear slightly wrinkled, another minute or two.

Salt Potatoes
Salt Potatoes
6-8 servings




2 pounds white- or yellow-skinned baby potatoes (about 1 inch in diameter), scrubbed
2 ounces best-quality sea salt, like sel gris or Maldon






June 11, 2017




1 pound of chicken breast tenders
1 pound of smoked turkey sausage, sliced into bite sized pieces
1 tablespoon of olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons of firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 red onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 large zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks
4 ears of fresh corn, husks and silks removed
2 tablespoons of butter
Additional salt and pepper
1/2 cup of prepared barbecue sauce
Green onions for garnish


Preheat oven to 425 degrees and spray baking sheet with non stick cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
Place chicken and smoked sausage on one side of baking sheet, drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and season with barbecue spice mixture, tossing to coat.
Add veggies to other side of baking sheet and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Combine meat and veggies and leave room for corn in one corner.
Season corn and top each cob with 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Wrap in foil packet.
Arrange corn cobs on baking sheet along with meat and veggies and bake at 425 degrees in upper third of oven for about 25 minutes, or until chicken registers 165 degrees.
Remove baking sheet and brush chicken and smoked sausage with BBQ sauce.
Place baking sheet back in oven and turn broiler to high. Broil 2-3 minutes or until veggies start to pick up color and barbecue sauce starts to caramelize.
Garnish with green onions and serve.




10 ounces (283 g) chopped kale leaves, washed, thoroughly dried (stems removed)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) grape seed, olive or avocado oil
1/4 cup (30 g) raw cashews
2 Tbsp (14 g) raw or roasted (unsalted) sunflower seeds
5-6 Tbsp (15-18 g) nutritional yeast, divided
1/4 tsp each salt and black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
optional: Healthy pinch cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Add kale to a large mixing bowl and drizzle with oil. Use hands to massage the kale to soften its texture and disperse the oil. Set aside.
Add cashews, sunflower seeds, 4 Tbsp (12 g) nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, garlic pepper and cayenne pepper (optional) to a food processor or blender and blend/pulse into a fine meal, scraping down sides as needed.
Add spice mixture to the kale and toss with hands to distribute, working it into the grooves so it's thoroughly coated.
Divide kale between 2 large baking sheets and spread into an even layer, making sure the pieces aren't overlapping to ensure crispiness. You may need to bake them in two batches depending on size of baking sheets.
Sprinkle the kale with remaining 1-2 Tbsp (3-6 g) nutritional yeast for extra flavor and bake for 15 minutes. Then remove from oven and toss/flip kale to ensure even baking.
Bake for 5-10 minutes more, or until chips are crispy and golden brown. Watch carefully to ensure they don't burn. Let cool slightly before enjoying.
Once completely cooled, store leftovers in a large plastic bag or container for 2-3 days. The crispy texture begins fading past 24 hours, so enjoy as close to baking as possible!




June 04, 2017

Mexican Street Corn Dip

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 white onion, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups corn kernels (fresh or thawed)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

½ cup whole milk

¼ cup heavy cream

1½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Tortilla chips

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

½ cup crumbled cotija cheese

⅓ cup sour cream

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more as needed)

2 limes, cut into wedges

1. In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more.

2. Add the corn and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

3. Add the milk and cream and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the Monterey Jack cheese until it’s fully melted.

4. Arrange the tortilla chips in an even layer on a platter, and pour the corn mixture evenly over it.

5. Sprinkle the cilantro and cotija cheese evenly over the dip, and drizzle the sour cream across it. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper, then serve immediately with lime wedges.






May 20, 2017

Baked BBQ Beans


2 red onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chilli
2 large carrots
olive oil
1 heaped teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 level teaspoon cumin seeds
1 level teaspoon dried chilli flakes
6 medium sweet potatoes
1 x 700 ml jar of passata
2 x 400 g tins of mixed beans
100 ml quality BBQ sauce
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
½ a loaf of ciabatta or stale bread
40 g Cheddar cheese , optional
fat-free natural yoghurt , to serve



Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
Peel the onions and garlic, then finely slice with the chilli. Peel and chop the carrots. Put all these into a large roasting tray and place on a medium heat with a lug of oil, the paprika, cumin and chilli flakes. Cook for 20 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly.
Meanwhile, scrub the sweet potatoes clean, then rub them with a little oil, sea salt and black pepper, place on a baking tray and put aside.
When the time’s up, stir the passata into the tray, add a splash of water to the empty jar, swirl it around and pour it in along with the beans (juice and all). Drizzle over the BBQ sauce, season lightly and stir well.
Pick and roughly chop the rosemary leaves, toss in a little oil and sprinkle over the top, then place in the oven for around 1 hour, or until bubbling, baked and gorgeous, adding a splash or two of water to loosen, if needed.
Put the tray of sweet potatoes into the oven for the same amount of time, or until soft and cooked through.
Around 20 minutes before the beans are ready, tear the bread into rough chunks and toss with a drizzle of oil in a roasting tray.
Grate over the Cheddar (if using), then place on the bottom shelf of the oven for around 15 minutes, or until crispy and golden, to make croutons.
Remove everything from the oven, tear up or squidge open the potatoes, and serve with the beans, dollops of yoghurt and the homemade croutons to mop up that delicious sauce, with a simple green salad on the side.



May 13, 2017



1 (16-ounce) bag coleslaw mix
2 (3-ounce) packages of ramen noodles*, crumbled (you will not use the seasoning packet)
1 cup shelled and cooked edamame
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and julienned (or diced)
1/2 cup thinly-sliced almonds
1/2 cup thinly-sliced green onions (scallions)
Asian honey vinaigrette (see ingredients below)

1/2 cup avocado oil (or vegetable oil, or any cooking oil)
1/4 cup honey (or your desired sweetener)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
pinch of salt and black pepper


Heat oven to 425°F. Spread the crumbled ramen noodles and sliced almonds out on a baking sheet, and stir a bit to combine. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until the almonds and noodles are slightly toasted and golden. Remove baking sheet, and give the mixture a good stir to toss. Then return it to the oven and toast for an additional 3 minutes. Keep a very close eye on the mixture so that it does not burn. Remove and set aside.
Add ingredients (including the vinaigrette) together in a large bowl, and toss until combined.
Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (This salad is much better eaten the first day, as the noodles lose their “crunch” the longer it sits, and the avocado may brown a bit. Still, it’s perfectly edible and enjoyable even after a few days!)

Whisk all ingredients together until combined.
*You can use any kind of packaged ramen noodles for this recipe. If you’d like organic (and less-processed) alternatives to the classic $0.30 packets at the grocery store, I recommend these organic classic ramen noodles or organic brown rice ramen noodles.


May 06, 2017

Mennonite Cabbage Rolls


Cabbage rolls are one of my favorite meals. My mom used to make them all the time when I was growing up and I have continued the tradition with my own family.


1 large savoy cabbage

2 pounds lean ground beef

2 medium to large onions

2 tablespoons canola or Bertolli olive oil .. or even butter is fine

1 cup white or brown rice. . . and 2 cups water

3 Eggland’s Best eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons Morton salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 cans tomato soup

2 small bottles (individual serving sizes) tomato juice or vegetable cocktail . .like V8

1 can or small carton chicken broth

In the bag that you brought your savoy cabbage home. . .place the cabbage in the freezer and leave for 12 hours or overnight.. . .remove and leave to thaw at room temperature. .this will take awhile. . so I often take it the night before the day I want to make the cabbage rolls. The leaves will be soft and easy to use without having to boil them.

In a small saucepan or a microwave safe covered dish. . .cook the rice. . set aside to cool. The rice can be made the day ahead and kept chilled in the refrigerator overnight.

Chop the onions fine and saute them slowly until they are golden brown. . .set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, break apart the ground beef, add the salt, pepper, eggs, sauteed onions and the rice. . mix together until combined. . use your hands.

Remove the leaves from the cabbage, cutting away the tough part closest to the core.

Spray your large casserole or two small casserole dishes with cooking spray.

Put about a 1/3 to 1/2 cup meat mixture at the bottom of the leaf and roll up. . the meat amount varies depending on the size of the leaf. . repeat until all the meat is used up.

In a large mixing bowl. . .combine the tomato soup, juice, and broth. . pour evenly over the cabbage rolls. Cover with foil. . or the lid.

Bake the cabbage rolls slowly at 325 for two hours. . serve or cool on the counter. .remove the foil (if you don’t. . you will have little bits of foil on your cabbage rolls where ever it touches. .) cover with plastic wrap. .and either refrigerate or freeze.






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