All recipes are original, so please forgive typos and grammatical errors.  Email me if you have any questions or if I can be helpful while your cooking!  Bon Appetit!

Fresh and Simple Asian Chicken Salad; Asian Salad Rolls; Grilled Asparagus with Chipotle Aioli (flavoured mayo); Asian Soba Noodle Salad; Pickled Fennel; Homemade Cheesecake Semifreddo (no ice cream maker needed!); Chocolate Churros with White Chocolate Dipping Sauce; Spanish Chicken with Romesco Sauce; Ratatouille w/ Polenta and Egg; Easy Lighter Penne with Red Peppers and Mushrooms; Coconut/Curry Lentil Soup; Roasted Sweet/New Potatoes with Arugula and Tahini Vinaigrette; Green Bean, Fingerling Potato and Smoked Tomato Salad; Sticky Ribs; Turkey Burgers; Blackberry, Goat Cheese and Spinach Salad

Sticky Ribs

  • 2 slabs side ribs
  • ½ cup cayenne rub (recipe to follow)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • ½ tbs. salt
  • 2 tbs. honey
  • 2 tbs. butter, broken up into pieces
  • 3 tbs. apple cider vinegar

Trim ribs of any visible fat and remove the silver skin along the back of the ribs (along the bones)

Season well with rub.  Place on a smoker for 2 ½ hours.  Note* if you do not have a smoker, simple season with rub, place in the refrigerator for 2 hours and proceed with recipe as follows.

Once ribs have smoked (or been in the fridge), remove them and place on a baking sheet. 

Preheat barbecue to 300 degrees.

Prepare foil packets by placing brown sugar, salt, honey and butter onto foil.  Lay both racks of ribs, meat side down on to brown sugar mixture.  Sprinkle bone side of ribs with brown sugar and honey.  Seal packets tightly and place onto grill.  Close lid and let ribs cook for approximately 2 hours.  Ribs may need more time depending upon your grill and the size/thickness of the ribs.  Remove ribs from packets and pour accumulated juices into a sauce pan.  Skim of all visible grease.  While ribs rest, heat sauce with 3 tbs. apple cider, reduce to thicken and serve with ribs.

Basic Rib Rub 

  • ¼ cup cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup seasoning salt
  • ¼  cup garlic salt
  • 2 tbs. ancho chili powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (be generous)

Blend all ingredients, let rest for 15 minutes.  Taste and adjust to your liking.

Turkey Burgers with Chimichurri (if you don't have harissa paste, use sriracha)

  • 2 lbs. ground turkey
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 1 tsp. harissa paste
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 shallot, minced and lightly sautéed

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Set aside.  Heat bbq to 350 degrees and place one small burger onto grill.  Let burger cook, taste for seasoning.  Adjust seasoning if needed in remaining turkey mixture.  Form turkey mixture into patties and spray both sides with a little cooking spray.  Place onto grill and close the lid.  Let cook for about 10 minutes, flip burgers and cook on second side.  Make sure internal temperature reaches a minimum 165 degrees.  Remove burgers, cover loosely with foil to rest. 

Chimichurri Sauce

  • 1 cup parsley
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbs. fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs. Lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. chili flakes, or to taste
  • Dash smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.  If you prefer your sauce a chunky, simply process for a shorter time.  Note that this can also be chopped by hand if you don't want to pull out your food processor, just remember to try to make everything about the same size.


Fresh Green Bean, Fingerling Potato and Smoked Tomato Salad

  • 1 lb. fresh green beans
  • 1 lb. fingerling potatoes, cut on a diagonal
  • 1 can white kidney beans
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes cut in half, plus on additional 1/2 cup grape tomatoes left whole
  • 1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (or to taste, I like my salad dressing to be vinegary
  • 1 tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs. fresh basil
  • 1 tbs. fresh tarragon or dill

Poke small holes (I use a toothpick) into a large piece of parchment paper and lay 1 cup tomato halves on parchment.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Place on smoker set at lowest smoking temp. for about 2 hours.  Remove and set aside.

Place potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet and toss with olive oil and salt.  Alternatively, you can wrap them in foil and bake them on your bbq.  When potatoes have become crisp and tender, remove them and let them cool.  While potatoes cool, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.  Add green beans and let steam/simmer for about 7 minutes, you just want to get the "raw" off the green beans, let cool to room temperature.  While beans cook, drain and rinse white kidney beans.  Set aside.  Place olive oil, vinegar, Dijon, salt, pepper and fresh herbs in mason jar.  Place lid on jar and shake vigorously until well blended.  Taste and adjust vinegar, oil, salt and pepper, if needed.  Place green beans in a shallow serving bowl, add potatoes, 1/2 whole tomatoes (fresh), smoked tomatoes, white beans and dressing.  Toss well garnish with fresh herbs and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Note* if you don't have a smoker, simply place tomato halve on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Place in a 200 degree oven for about 2 hours, or until shrivelled and starting to dry out.

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

1 1/2 cups dried sprouted lentils (you can use regular lentils, just cook for an additional 10 minutes or so, no need to soak lentils)
1 small onion diced
1 1/2 tbs. ground cumin
1 1/2 tbs. ground coriander
2 tbs. red curry paste (or to your taste depending on the brand of curry paste, some tend to be a little hotter, so taste before you add)
2 1/2 tbs. tomato paste
1 can coconut milk
3 cups unsalted chicken or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
salt to taste

Add diced onion to 1 tbs. hot oil in a large Dutch oven (medium high heat). Sauté for about 3 minutes. Add cumin and coriander, toast until fragrant. Add curry paste and mix and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and "toast" until you have a brown crusty film on the bottom of the pot. This will add lots of flavor so be patient. Add coconut cream from the top of the milk (scrape off thick white cream, leaving clear "milk" in the can for later). Cook and stir for about 5 - 10 minutes to reduce slightly. Add chicken stock and remaining coconut milk and make sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to get up all the toasted bits. Add bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Add lentils and simmer for about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Serve with dollop of Greek yogurt.

Arugula Salad with Roasted Sweet and New Potatoes and Tahini Dressing

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tsp. tamari or light soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 cup small new potatoes or 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes cut into 1” cubes
  • 5 cups baby arugula mixed with baby spinach (50/50)
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • Place tahini (sesame paste),  tamari, lemon juice, salt and olive oil in a bowl and whisk well.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  • Place potatoes on a lined baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle of salt.  Roast in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until potatoes are soft and roasted.  Remove and let cool.
  • Place arugula/spinach on a large serving platter and place cooled potatoes around the edges; next place grape tomatoes around arugula.  Sprinkle feta cheese over potatoes, arugula and tomatoes; drizzle tahini dressing over salad and finish with a grind of fresh ground pepper.

Penne with Red Peppers and Mushrooms

1 lb. dried penne (about 225 grams)
4 large Portobello caps, broken into 1" pieces...
2 red peppers, diced
2 tsp. garlic
1/2 cup white wine
2 1/2 tsp. grainy mustard
1 cup chicken stock (or beef)
8 cubes Light Laughing Cow cheese (or 8 tbs. cream cheese)
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or parmesan Reggiano)
3 tbs. pine nuts

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and let cook for 12 - 15 minutes (or until desired doneness). While pasta cooks, heat 2 tsp. oil in a large skillet. When oil is hot add mushroom pieces and diced red pepper. Heat for about 3 - 5 minutes, add garlic on top of mushrooms and peppers and stir. Cook for 1 minute. Reduce heat and add wine. Let cook for 3 minutes. Add mustard and mix. Add stock and heat to a simmer. Add Laughing Cow or light cream cheese; stir until thickened and cheese has melted. Stir in grated cheese and season with salt and plenty of fresh ground pepper. Serve over noodles and sprinkle with Pecorino or Parm and a few pinches of pine nuts for crunch. *Note: adjust Pecorino and/or Laughing Cow to your liking.

Ratatouille with Creamy Polenta and Poached Egg

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 3 tbs. butter
  • 2 small to medium red onions, sliced
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 tbs. finely chopped garlic
  • 3 tbs. flour
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbs. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbs. fresh rosemary, very finely chopped
  • 3 tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • Ground pepper
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 6 Poached Eggs

Grease the slow cooker with cooking spray.   Place the eggplant and zucchini in a large colander and toss well with 3 tbs. of the salt; let sit for about 30 minutes. Rinse well to remove the salt, then dry well, gently squeezing out excess water with a paper towel.  Add to the greased slow cooker.  Heat 2 tbs. of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.  When butter has melted and pan is hot, add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic and sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.  Transfer to the slow cooker.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tbs. of butter.  When butter melts, add the flour and tomato paste, and cook until the mixture is thickened and the mixture becomes toasted about 3 – 4 minutes.  Increase the heat to medium high and add the tomatoes with their juices, thyme, balsamic, salt and pepper.

Cook, crushing the tomatoes a bit with a wooden spoon, until thickened and smooth, about 6 minutes.  Mix with the vegetables in the slow cooker, add parmesan rind.  Cover the slow cooker and cook on low until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 5 hours.  Uncover and remove from the heat; immediately stir in the cheese and basil.

Creamy Polenta

  • 1 cup polenta or yellow corn meal
  • ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 ½  cups water or milk or a combination of both
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup mascarpone or cream cheese
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 pinches (about 1/8 tsp.) saffron threads, soaked in hot water
  • Pepper to taste
  • ½ stick butter

Place a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat.  Pour in milk and/or water and bring to a simmer.  Very slowly, whisk in polenta.  Continue to cook and whisk until polenta is well incorporated, add saffron mixture, andturn down heat to lowest setting and continue to whisk until well thickened and polenta has cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Add all remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper.  Poach eggs to desired doneness and serve over top polenta and ratatouille, finish with a dollop of mascarpone cheese and a fresh crack of pepper.

Fresh and Simple Asian Chicken Salad

  • 1/2 roasted chicken (store bought is great), cut into thin strips then into small uniform squares
  • 1/2 bag prepared shredded cole slaw
  • 1/2 diced avocado
  • 1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion, green parts only
  • 1/2 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh Thai basil, chopped (if you can't find Thai basil use regular)
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 2 - 2 1/2 tbs. bottled Hoisin Sauce (or to taste
  • 1 - 1 1/2 tbs. soy sauce
  • Zest from 1/2 lime
  • 1 1/2 tbs. fresh grated ginger (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup roughly diced peanuts

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix.  Taste and adjust seasoning/herbs/ginger to your liking.  Plate and squeeze 1/2 of a fresh lime over everything.

  • Note: this can be served in a rice paper roll for easy salad rolls. If you would like, make some rice noodles as well to put inside.

Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

4 - 5 cups baby spinach
8 - 10 strawberries, sliced...
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup canned white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbs. toasted pine nuts (or hazelnuts, or any nuts)
1 tbs. black poppy seeds
3 tbs. Nixon Honey (only and always)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar (or just plain white vinegar)
1 tsp. Dijon (or to taste)
1/4 shallot, grated on a microplane or box grater (small holes)
1/2 cup neutral flavoured oil, such as canola

Place poppy seeds, Nixon honey, white wine vinegar, Dijon, and shallot into a small bowl. Drizzle oil in and whisk vigorously. Season with salt. Place all remaining ingredients (spinach through pine nuts) onto a platter, drizzle with dressing, enjoy!

Asian Salad Rolls (makes 12 rolls, or 24 appetizers)

  • 12 sheets rice paper
  • 1 pack of rice noodles, boiled for 5 minutes.  Cooled
  • 3 cups shredded roasted chicken or cooked shrimp (optional)
  • Carrots, shredded
  • Snap peas, sliced lengthwise
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Avocado
  • Mango
  • Baby Corn
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Basil leaves
  • Mint leaves
  • Enoki mushrooms

Fill a shallow bowl with hot water.  Working with one sheet of rice paper at a time, place in hot water and let sit 20 seconds.  Remove to counter.  Place rice noodles, and vegetables at one end of the rice paper.  Lay cilantro and mint leaves on top.  Roll tightly,  repeat until all rice paper has been used.  Serve with dipping sauce

Peanut Dipping Sauce

  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp honey (or to taste)
  • 2 tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet chili sauce

To make the dipping sauce, stir all ingredients together.  Taste and adjust flavors as desired.

Grilled Asparagus with Chipotle Mayo

  • 1 bunch of fresh asparagus

Asparagus (ends broken off) with a drizzle of olive oil and coarse salt.  Grill until tender crisp.

Serve with Chipotle mayo dip.

Chipotle Mayo Dip

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo (or to taste)
  • Several shakes of Franks hot sauce (or hot sauce of your choice)
  • 1 head roasted garlic
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. 

Great served with grilled asparagus,  roast sweet potato wedges or as a topping on sandwiches.

Asian Inspired Soba Noodle Salad

For Dressing:

  • 2 tbs. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 pinches yuzu or chili sauce
  • 2 tbs. sesame oil
  • ¼ cup neutral oil such as canola or corn
  • 1 Tbs. miso paste
  • 1 tbs. fish sauce
  • 3 tbs. honey

For Salad:

  • 1 bunch soba (buckwheat) noodles
  • 4 bone in skin on chicken thighs, roasted until crisp, and shredded
  • 1/2 cup carrots cut into matchstick pieces
  • ½ cup shredded cabbage
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions, green party only
  • ½ red pepper sliced into matchsticks
  • ½ cup dried mushroom, reconstituted in 1 cup boiling water and drained, and sliced into matchsticks
  • ½ cucumber sliced into matchsticks
  • ½ cup snap peas sliced into matchsticks
  • 3 radishes sliced very thinly

First boil 6 cups water in a large pot, once water has started boiling, add noodles and let boil for about 5 minutes or until desired doneness.  Rinse in cold water and set aside.

In a separate bowl whisk alldressing ingredients together taste for seasoning. Set aside.

Place noodles and all remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently.  Don’t overmix noodles, as they may become too sticky.  Once ingredients are tossed gently, drizzle some of the dressing over salad.  You do not have to use all the dressing.  Add as much as you would like.  Top with pickled fennel and miso sesame cracker. (recipes follow)

Pickled Fennel

  •  ½ fennel bulb, sliced paper thin with a Mandolin
  • 3 pickling cucumbers sliced thin
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp. fennel seed
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • ½ stalk lemongrass, bruised
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ tbs. Kosher salt
  • 1 tbs. sugar


Heat a skillet over medium low heat.  Add star anise, fennel seed, coriander seed, juniper berries, peppercorns and bay leaves and toast until fragrant.  This should take about 3 – 4 minutes.  Removed from heat and set aside.  In a separate saucepan, add white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, water, salt and sugar and heat until salt and sugar have dissolved.  Add toasted spices and lemongrass and let heat for an additional 5 minutes.  Place shaved fennel and cucumber in a large glass jar, pour vinegar/spice mixture over fennel and let cool to room temperature.   Place a tight fitting lid on jar and place in the refrigerator.  Let sit for 1 day before using.

Sesame, Miso Cones

  • 4 ounces butter
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 2 tbs. miso paste
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • ¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tbs. finely grated ginger
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds, black and white

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.

In a saucepan, melt butter, corn syrup, and miso paste.  Add flour, pepper, grated ginger, and sesame seeds and mix well.  .  Place 1 tbs. mixture and using an offset spatula, smear into a very thin circle.  Bake for about 5 – 7 minutes until sides become brown and slightly crispy.   Remove from oven and, working quickly, wrap the circles around a cannoli form.  Let cool and remove form.   Cones will still be slightly warm, let sit undisturbed until completely cool.  Stuff with pea shoots, or any filling of your choice.

Cheesecake Semifreddo with Liqueur Soaked Berries and Gingersnap Crumble

  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • ¾ cup crème fraiche (homemade crème fraiche recipe attached)
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 tbs. sugar
  • 2 tbs. Chambord liqueur
  • 4 cups berries, your choice
  • ½ cup Chambord
  • 3 cups crushed gingersnaps, toasted in 1 ½ tbs. butter

Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving about a 4” hangover.

Set aside.

Place egg yolks and sugar in a metal or glass and whisk until light and fluffy.  Place over a pot of boiling water (do not let the bowl touch the water) and whisk until mixture is light in color and has thickened.  The custard should reach 82 degrees F, let custard stay at this temp for about 2 minutes.  Do not let custard go over about 85 degrees F and DEFINITELY don’t boil.  This should take about 5 – 7 minutes once water has started to boil beneath the custard.  Set aside to cool. 

Place sour cream, sweetened condensed milk, and crème fraiche into a bowl and beat with a hand mixer.  Add whipped cream and continue to beat until very light and fluffy (mixture will still be a bit liquid) add liqueur and mix well.  Slowly add the custard mixture and continue to mix. 

Pour mixture into prepared pan and fold plastic over the top so it is completely covered.  Place in the freezer for a minimum of 2 ½ hours.  Semifreddo should be served slightly thawed so take out about 10 minutes before you would like to serve. While ice cream is setting, place sliced or whole berries into a glass bowl and add Chambord or Port of your choice.  Let macerate for 2 hours.

Homemade Crème Fraiche

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbs. cultured buttermilk

Mix ingredients in a glass dish and cover with cheesecloth.  Let sit for 8 – 12 hours at room temperature.  After 8 – 12 hours have passed, mix well, cover tightly and place in refrigerator and let get cold before using.