What To Do With

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cooking Group Recipes!

I hosted my first Toronto Branch Cooking group tonight. It was a lot of fun. I had an excess amount of flowers due to a funny little episode at the market today!!
(For the full story please see
My company's website)

More on that later. For now, here are the recipes.

Mushroom Soup
(approximate estimations)
1 head of cauliflower
1 large potato
1 onion chopped
10 oyster mushrooms
15 white cremini mushrooms
10 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 litres of home made chicken broth
drizzle of black truffle olive oil

Lightly suatee onions in olive oil until yellow.
Add thyme Stem removed
add potato
add cauliflower
add broth bring to a boil
reduce heat
add mushrooms cook for about 10 minutes until mushrooms are soft and tender.

When ready let cool.
Heat through and when ready to serve add a drizzle of black truffle oil.

For garnish...

Buy your favorite cheese sticks.
Place in a ziploc Bag and pound until crumbs have been created.

leafy lettuce
toasted almonds
cherry tomatoes
thinly sliced vidalia onion
burrata cheese (at room temperature)
Home made dressing
Assemble all ingredients.
Toss with salad dressing.


6 plum tomatoes
2 large garlic cloves
dried basil
olive oil
sea salt
balsamic glaze
lemon zest from half a lemon

Cut plum tomatoes in half.
Arrange flat side up on a baking dish.
Combine olive oil, dry basil, pressed garlic, salt, pepper, and balsamic glaze.
With a spoon apply vinaigrette to each tomato.
Roast in a 350 degree oven for 2 hours or until reduced by half.
Transfer tomatoes along with their juices to a bowl.
Add lemon zest.
Allow to sit at room temp.

Cook orzo as late as possible it is meant to be served at room temperature.

Add the roasted tomatoes, season and serve.

I often add pine nuts. Delicious!


8 halibut fillets

The Rub:

1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
The Dressing:

2 medium lemons
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To make the dressing, cut a 1/2″ slice off both ends of each lemon. Cut each lemon in half lengthwise. Lightly brush the cut sides of the lemons with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Grill the lemons over direct high heat until nicely browned, 4-6 minutes, turning once. Remove the lemons from the grill and allow to cool. Squeeze the lemons through a sieve into a small bowl. Discard the rinds and seeds. You should have about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Add the capers, then whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons oil to form a dressing. Whisk in the rest of the dressing ingredients and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
To make the rub, mix the rub ingredients in a small bowl.
Generously brush or spray the halibut on both sides with oil and season with the rub. Grill over direct high heat until the halibut just begins to flake when you poke it with the tip of a knife, 6-8 minutes, turning once. Whisk the dressing one last time. Serve the fish warm with the dressing poured on top.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Formal Table Setting!

This year I had a wonderful Christmas. I must say that i was overjoyed and overwhelmed with emotion when I received my gift from my in laws...does this picture give you any hints?

My mother in law has inherited kept and maintained some beautiful silver that has been in her family for many generations. One of the sets survived a terrible fire where most of the material goods in the home did not survive the terrible tragedy.

The set that was given to me comes from my mother in laws side of the family. The silver is marked with a beautiful "S" for Smith. I am honored and touched by the sentiment, history and value of the gift. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

So, this brings me to my new project at the moment. As you all know I have been away from my blog for quite some time, as I have devoted more time to the business my sister and I are growing, PFR Design.

Please see www.PFRdesign-inspiredliving.blogspot.com for more details or www.pfrdesign.com.

We have ha d a very busy couple of months but with much success. We are slowly growing the PFR name and people are starting to become more familiar with our products, our lines and our collections.

PFR Design is having a Valentine's Challenge at the moment and I am very happy to be a part of it! I never say no the opportunity to set a table. Everyone knows that my table is always set! Be it for guest or not. I have so much fun walking into my dining room and designing a beautiful table that fits my mood.

I am in the process of finding inspiration for my Valentine's table. I will be hosting 12 of my university friends to a reunion and it should be pretty fun. I will be posting inspirational pictures here and I will be posting pictures of my table as it unfolds. I am very excited!

So, yes I will be continuing with food recipes here that appeal to the busy mom such as myself...I actually just finished making Malaysian Fish Curry which is delicious. I will be sharing it with my clients tomorrow as their first delivery of the year!

Here is the recipe:

6 filets of red snapper, tilapia or halibut
flour for coating

1 onion finely diced
1 small fennel bulb finely diced
2cm fresh ginger finely chopped
1 1/2 can of coconut milk
4 tsp fennel seed
2sp coriander seed
2 tsp cumin seed
3 cloves whole
2 tsp sambal oelek
2 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper

salt and pepper your fillets.
coat with flour.

Heat vegetable oil in a non stick pan and brown fish on both sides.
Remove fish fillets until all have been browned. Be sure to add the fish slowly so as not to crowd the pan.
Add the onion, fennel and ginger. Cook until brown.
Add the brown fished all together into the pan.
Add 1 tin of coconut milk shaken before opening.

In a pan add fennel, coriander and cumin seed.
Heat until popping and fragrant. remove from pan and pulse in a blender until it reaches powder lie consistency.

Add 3 whole cloves to powder.
add 1/2 tin of coconut milk shaken.
Add sambal oelek.
Add chilli powder.

Blend again until well combined.

Add this spice mixture to the fish and simmer uncovered until thickened.

Serve with Basmati rice, raita and soft naan or pita bread.

More pictures to come on that meal...

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Hi everyone,

Being at Jon and Danielle's party last night inspired me to get back to my blog! Good friends, happy smiles, good food it was great! Thanks for putting on a great party. I

I thought I would start with something simple to get me back into the game.

Here is the recipe for last nights Guacamole. Stolen straight from my mother's Mexican Kitchen!

4 ripe perfect Organic Avocados
1/2 Vidalia onion (about 1/4 cup)
2 red tomatoes
1 bunch cilantro
juice of 1 lemon

Finely dice the onion and tomato and place in a ziploc bag
Finely chop the cilantro and add to ziploc bag
add the juice on 1 lime
add 2-3 pinches of salt
Shake the ziploc and let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour

Peel and place the avocados in a bowl.
Smash with a fork.
Combine contents of ziploc bag to smashed avocados leaving any access tomato juice in the bag.

mix and serve with tortilla chips.

I use tortilla chips from the Mad Mexican.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Yule Be Dazzled 2

Hi everyone,

I know I have been away from quite some time! I have been very busy planning for YULE BE DAZZLED 2!!!

I have also been busy making delicious soups. I will be back with delicious recipes in November.

Take care and stay warm!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What's For Dinner?

Mustard, Sage and Balsamic Glaze Chicken with fragrant, Organic Baby Greens & Roasted Asparagus.

1 2-3 pound organic chicken cut into pieces. (Breast, legs) Use the extras for Chicken Broth
8 Fresh Sage Leaves chopped
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Glaze
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and Pepper

For the Asparagus.
Cut off about 1 inch of Asparagus from the bottom
Peel bottom half of Asparagus.
Divide the asparagus lengthwise into two pieces using a sharp knife.
Place in a baking dish.
Drizzle with Olive oil coarse salt and pepper.
Cook on high heat about 4oo degrees about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Saeson your chicken with Salt and Pepper
In a bowl combine all ingredients.
Pour over chicken and rub in with your hands.
Place in refrigerator and marinate at least 30 minutes.

BBQ chicken on indirect high heat about 30 minutes. Finish on direct high heat for about 5-8 minutes.
Or, roast in the oven about 15-20 minutes at 390 degrees. Or until liquid runs clear.

To serve place salad on plate.
Top with Asparagus
Drizzle fragrant Olive oil and a squeeze of lemon season with salt and pepper.
Plate your chicken as is and enjoy!

Simple and Delicious!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pizza Margherita 3 ways!

Easy & Fast but oh so delicious!
The Cheat but oh so delicious!
Some work but oh so delicious!

Three options for the basic pizza margherita. Who can live without pizza?

Easy & Fast

Using your favorite flatbread or pita bread simply add your favorite pasta sauce. I use my homemade fresh pasta sauce. Add fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves. Bake for about 10 minutes on high heat. Add more fresh basil to garnish.

The Cheat:
If you have more time on your hands try this version.
Buy your favorite already prepared pizza dough.

Sprinkle some flour on it and form into one large ball.

With a sharp knife cut the large ball into four smaller balls, or eight, depending on how thin you like your pizza.

Stretch the dough out with your fingers or use a rolling pin.
(The kids always help out with their own pizza)!

Add flour to avoid sticking to the counter and to the rolling pin!
Heat a dry griddle pan on high heat.
Add the flattened dough to the dry griddle pan.

Cook until it starts to bubble and the edges start to turn golden.
Flip to the other side and cook for another minute or two.
Add your sauce, your fresh mozzarella and basil leaves.
Cook for about 8 minutes on high heat 425 degrees.or until the cheese starts to bubble and turn golden.

Work but delicious!

This pizza recipe comes directly from Mario Batali's new book called Molto Gusto!
It's a fabulous book with excellent recipes I highly recommend it to everyone. Almost no meat in this book just so you know!

This pizza dough is wetter than most doughs which allows for the particular cooking technique.

Mario uses a hot griddle to parcook the pizza crusts.

1 1/4 cups warm water
one 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3 1/2 cups of "00" flour
Scant 2 tablespoons salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Semolina for dusting

To make the dough:
Whisk the warm water, yeast, and sugar together in a bowl.
Let stand in a warm place for about 10 minutes or until yeast is foamy.

Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
Mix well.
With the mixer on low, add the yeast mixture and oil, mixing well.
Continue to mix, gradually, increasing the mixer speed to medium high, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and turn it by hand to finish kneading it.

Once you have kneaded, divided and stretched the dough into 8 flat pizzas, heat the griddle pan until very hot.
Place the pizza on the griddle pan and cook until evenly cooked about 2-3 minutes.
Turn and cook another 2-3 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool.
Parbaked crusts can be refrigerated overnight and frozen, well wrapped, for up to two weeks.

It's a great idea to make a large batch of these and freeze them, so whenever you are in the mood for a perfect pizza all you have to do is take one out of the freezer.

You can also freeze some of the pizzas with the toppings on them-even easier!

Once you have dressed you margherita with sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil broil it in the oven for about 5-8 minutes.

More pizza ideas:
I tend to saute most of my ingredients/vegetables before adding them to the pizza! Much tastier.

My kids love a spinach pizza.
Frozen chopped spinach run under hot water.
Drain spinach by squeezing out excess water with you hands.
Saute spinach with finely diced onion and minced garlic.

Add sauce, spinach mixture, mozzarella cheese . Cook and enjoy.

Sausage and roasted red and yellow peppers.
Vegetarian with asparagus, mushroom, thinly sliced zucchini.
Prosciutto & arugula-add arugula after cooking.
Potato & Rosemary- SIMPLY THE BEST! make sure your potato slices are very thinly sliced.
Caramelized onion, goat cheese and spinach.

My crazy combination
Sauted baby spinach, caramelized onion, roasted garlic, fresh ginger, or pickled ginger, pine nuts, fresh mozzarella.