Thursday, 1 December 2016

How to make salmon


Salmon fillets
Olive oil


Preheat a non-stick skillet on medium high heat.

Season the top side of the salmon fillets and gently place into pan.

Season the other side with more salt and pepper.

Cook for 3-4 minutes or until edges are beginning to brown and then flip over.

Cook an additional 2-3 minutes and then remove from the pan and set aside.

Let the salmon rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe can be used for as many portions as desired.

Here are video instructions:

Sunday, 13 November 2016

How to make French toast

It's the weekend! So you have a few extra minutes to prepare a special breakfast for those you love.  Try this quick, easy and delicious recipe for French toast, it's a classic that won't disappoint!

8 slices of bread
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp butter

Maple syrup, strawberries and whipped cream


Preheat Oster non-stick skillet to 300 degrees or non-stick pan to medium heat

Add butter to pan and allow to melt completely

In a shallow bowl, whisk eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla until combined.

Dip bread into mixture making sure both sides are well coated.

Place coated bread into skillet and cook until lightly browned (approximately 2-3 minutes)

Flip bread over gently and cook on other side an additional minute or two.

Serve immediately topped with whipped cream, strawberries and maple syrup.

Recipe yields 4 servings.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Italian white wine - The Unadvertised Winner

October 31, 2016 - Roy Thomson Hall - Toronto, ON
Italian Trade Commission - Master Class 2016
By Fire & Sea - A Tasting of Wines From Italy

I began the tasting with a diverse assortment of rich red wines from the Puglia, Calabria and Sicilian regions of Italy.  Although I could go on for days about the reds, the new flavors and perfume like aromas I discovered by trying grapes grown in rare climates like at the base of volcanoes.  I feel like everyone knows Italy produces amazing red wine. So this time I think it far more interesting to tell you about how surprised I was about the unbelievable quality of their white wine production.

On a day to day basis it is easy to say that I prefer to drink white wine.  The rich concentrated color of these red wines sure was beautiful, just not on my teeth or my clothes, so for vanities sake, for me anyways, usually white is right. In past, I have always preferred the flavors of whites from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Unbeknownst to me the light, fruity and fresh flavors I crave could be further magnified with the calcium rich, chalky, clay soil used to grow these Italian Bad Boys.

So next time you head out to the liquor store, pick yourself up a bottle of Italian white wine and start your own winecation.  Here are some  Italian whites that I would recommend as a perfect stand alone drink or to go with chicken or seafood:

$21 - Vermenti - Bolgheri DOC - 2015 - Very fresh and light with tons of bright citrus aroma.  Balanced acidity with fruity flavor and good length.

$27 - Alois Lageder - Pinot Bianco 2015 -  Brightly colored, light, fruity, palate awakening.  

$31 - Colli di Lapio - Fiano di Avellino DOCG - 2014 - Ripe summer fruit and floral aroma, rich full body with excellent length, soft fresh flavor.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

How to cook rice

Always tasty, yet often over complicated!
Making rice is so easy to make and once you know how, it will surely become one of your go-to side dishes of choice.

Ingredients: may vary depending on variety of rice so check your package for the correct rice to water ratio*

1 cup parboiled rice, rinsed
2.5 cups water
Pinch salt


Combine ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer until the rice has completely absorbed the water.

Remove from heat and gently fluff rice with a fork and serve.

Check out this video for visual instructions!

Monday, 17 October 2016

Pascual Toso celebrates 125th Anniversary in Toronto

Fabulous Faith at Pascual Toso 125th Anniversary celebration in Toronto
Toronto, ON - October 12, 2016

The National Club, located in the financial district of downtown Toronto. Traditionally filled with the upper echelon of Toronto's business community, today hosted Argentinian winery Pascual Toso.

Pascual Toso's current Winemaker Felipe Stahlschmidt, described his expansive vineyard that features a variety of altitudes and soil types offering the ability to produce a variety of high quality grapes. With over 300 acre's and over 40 lots of various Malbec and Cabernet grapes, Argentina's warm Climate affords a long ripening season allowing for a diverse variety of flavors to develop.  

Beginning in the 1890s, Italian immigrant Pascual Toso stumbled upon Argentina's ideal climate for growing grapes and established his first winery in San Jose. Then later, at the beginning of the 20th century, he acquired further land and built another winery at his estate making Pascual Toso one of the oldest and most prestigious wineries in Argentina.

Unlike other wineries, Pascual Toso doesn't depend on recipes.  Their master wine makers taste the wine daily and decide when it's ready for market  and what quality has been created. Today, for this exclusive wine tasting event, we were delighted with a celebratory tasting of 12 varietals to mark the 125th Anniversary of their vineyard and award winning wines.  All of the Malbecs, Cabernet Sauvignons and red blends were lovely but here are my favorites:

Everyday wine - Pascual Toso Malbec Limited Edition

Made of 100% Malbec grapes aged in American Oak, this mid-weight flavorful wine exudes a sweet berry aroma.  Upon meeting your palate, you are greeted with a rich balanced peppery fruit flavor, followed with a clean berry finish that rolls right off your tongue.  At just $16 it's perfect for dinner tonight and everynight!

Special Occasion - Magdalena Toso - Ultra Premium Blend

Further to the above, it seems like I enjoy a lot of fruit flavors in my wine :) So this varietal was definitely the mack daddy of them all, like loaded with ripe juicy berry-plum flavor. It's rich and strong, like loads of tannins but unfortunately it's aged for 18 months in premium French Oak barrels in limited quantities which pushes the price point to up to $100 a bottle. Making it the perfect gift for the wine lover in your life, your boss you need to impress or a last minute gift for that special person in your life.  But that special person could be you too, I mean it's definitely going to be me on pay day.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Kale Salad & Kale Chips

Kale's everyone's new favorite super food. But let's face it, kale salads are usually unpalatable rabbit food or smothered in high fat dressing. Kale chips are everywhere these days but they are too expensive, especially when preparing fresh is so simple.

I picked up a giant bunch of red kale on sale at the market this week, as having greens on hand is the first step towards cooking them and being recently diagnosed with P.C.O.D. I am trying to make the drastic changes required to balance my hormones naturally. So having a giant bunch of kale staring at me everytime I open the fridge is the reminder that I need that eating healthy is just a few chops away.

So on to the food.  I felt like asian flavors so I created these delicious and healthful recipes that are easy to prepare and can be stored for up to a week.

Asian Kale Salad

3 cups finely chopped kale
1 cup finely chopped cabbage
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of roasted sesame seeds

Dressing (prepared asian sesame or peanut would work well if you don't have the time!)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon miso paste
1 tablespoon tamari
Splash mirin
Splash pineapple juice
Splash sesame oil
Pinch garlic powder
Pinch onion powder
Pinch ground ginger


Combine dressing ingredients in the bottom of a large bowl and whisk until combined.

Add the other ingredients and toss until coated.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Kale chips


3 cups roughly chopped kale leaves
2 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
3 tablespoons sesame oil
Pinch granulated garlic


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Toss ingredients until the kale is evenly coated and layer onto a baking sheet.

Turn the broiler on the lowest setting and bake for 10 minutes and then check to see if the kale leaves and dry and crispy. If not return to oven for a few more minutes and then check again.

Allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Kidney bean salad

Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Here is a super easy, healthful and flavorful salad filled with Texmex inspiration.

Kidney bean salad recipe

1 (796 ml) can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed.
1/2 cup diced English cucumber
1/2 cup frozen kernels, thawed
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diced sweet red pepper
1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley

1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
Pinch oregano, salt, pepper and sugar
1/2 clove garlic minced
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard


Combine dressing ingredients in serving bowl, whisk until smooth.

Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat.

Allow to marinate at least 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe yields 4 side dish size servings or 2 entree portions.