Favorites of 2014

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The journey as a blogger has been wondrous but a lot of hard work.  My writing, photography and technological skills are continually evolving.  It never ceases to amaze me to see the map of the world light up in 88 countries where my little blog is being discovered and read in far away places or right around the corner from home.  Hearing from readers that I am a source of inspiration to them with a recipe, a project or a story inspires me to continue publishing the blog.  I thought I would end the year highlighting the most popular posts of 2014 as decided by you, dear readers.  Thank you for your enthusiastic support.  It means the world to me.  You can click on each highlighted title to access the link to read the original post.   Happy New Year! Continue reading

Baked Jalapeno Poppers

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Looking to kick your party up a notch?  These Jalapeno poppers have just the right amount of heat to be exciting.  With a velvety cheesy filling in a crunchy coating, they are a two-bite wonder. Baking them reduces the prep time and the calories without losing any of the texture and great taste.  Serve this easy appetizer and watch your guests go wild.  Oh, and plan to make way more than you think you need.  They are that good.

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Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranate Molasses Glaze

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This dramatically delicious squash will up the ante on your holiday side dishes.  It is both naughty and nice with its sweetness contrasted with a spicy accompanying dip.  The acorn squash wedges  are very simply oven roasted.  It’s what happens next that takes this dish to a whole other level.  At the time of serving,  it is drizzled with a pomegrante molasses-maple syrup glaze, pomegranate seeds and salty, freshly-toasted pepitas.  As if that wasn’t yummy enough, there is a side of kickin’ hot buttery dip.  The dish steals center stage! Continue reading

Tourtière: Celebrating Christmas French-Canadian Style

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Tourtière is the traditional Christmas Eve dish in French Canada.  A lightly spiced, finely ground pork pie enveloped in a flakey melt-in-your-mouth crust, it is the center of the réveillon, a midnight feast served after Christmas mass.  The addition of cinnamon, ground cloves and allspice is what makes this savory pie so unique.  Served by generations of Québécois families, it is a memorable tasting experience should you be lucky enough to be served a slice.  So beloved, it has spread far beyond the borders of the province of Québec where it originated.

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Warm Mediterranean Tuna Lunch Salad

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I know, I know! One day I’m tempting you with Snickers candy in your banana bread and the next, a salad???  In this season of excess, a salad is just what the doctor ordered!  Most college freshmen gain the traditional 15 pounds.  Our youngest actually lost almost twice that and asked me to cook him Mediterranean food when he arrived home for Christmas  break.  What?  No cheese steak requests?  Taken off guard I looked in the pantry, fridge  and freezer to scrounge the making of a meal on the spot.  And so was born this recipe,  an improvised Niçoise salad of sorts.  A sizzling Ahi tuna steak seasoned with capers and Kalamata olives served alongside  whole grains and garlicky sautéed spinach. A tasty lunch evoking the Mediterranean and keeping this young man on his healthy journey.  The salad just might transport you to a quaint little Greek island, escaping the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  I could escape there myself, right about now! Continue reading

Snickers Banana Bread~A homemade gift from the kitchen

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There is nothing like a homemade gift from the kitchen. A banana bread loaf is a great offering as it can be served for breakfast during a busy season of entertaining.  It can easily be frozen by  the recipient to be enjoyed long after the holiday season, if preferred.  Adding your favoirte candy bar chopped up into the batter of your go-to  recipe is an indulgent addition befitting the holidays.  In this recipe I  added chopped Snickers bars as they have peanuts, caramel and chocolate, perfect partners for banana bread!  Decadent?  You bet!  At the end of the post I will share several wrapping ideas for the gifting of banana bread loaves.image Continue reading

Seared Cod with Winter Jewel Salsa

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If you’re trying to be good in between all the excesses of the holiday season this is a quick meal that packs bold flavor from fresh winter fruit  and is quick to prepare between all that shopping, baking and decorating.  Rich in  antioxidants, it will keep you energized as you tick off that endless to-do list. The salsa can be made ahead one day. Continue reading