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Haddock and Shrimp Empanadas with Honeydew Salsa

Ever since amanda and I did our first wine tasting when we reviewed Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bar Wines, we've been having monthly wine and food pairing evenings. The experience was so amazing that we had to recreate it again and again.

We've already looked at wines from the 4 corners of the world, including South Africa, Portugal, Australia, and Canada. Argentina was up next on the list and I was to bring a meal paired with white wine. I picked the Etchart Cafayete Torrentes (suggested by either the SAQ or LCBO quarterly magazines - honestly can't remember which one). The SAQ website suggested pairing this wine with the empanada recipe that I'm about to describe. With a few adjustments to make it healthier, as well as to use up ingredients I already had at home, the following is what delighted all guests:


  • 1 cup chopped cooked shrimp
  • 1.5 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
  • 1.5 cups cooked haddock, shredded
  • 2 heaping tbsp greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb pie dough
  • 2 cups chopped honeydew
  • 2 tbsp each: red onion, parsley, cilantro - finely chopped
  • 2 tsp lime juice (add more if you like it very tangy)
  • pepper to taste
  1. In a bowl, mix the first 5 ingredients and set aside
  2. In a smaller bowl, mix the yogurt and 1/4 cup of milk until you get the consistency of cooking cream (add more milk or yogurt if necessary)
  3. Mix in 3 tbsp of the yogurt mixture to the fish stuffing
  4. Pre-heat your oven to 375 F
  5. Roll out the pie dough and create 8 circles approximately 6 in. in diameter
  6. Put fish stuffing on one side of the circle and fold the other half on top. Seal your dough using a fork. Use the same process for the remaining 7 circles and place on a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet.
  7. Brush the empanadas with the remaining milk and bake for 20-30 minutes (until the crust becomes golden brown)
  8. While your empanadas are baking, mix your salsa ingredients and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
This is an excellent recipe for left over white fish + it's great comfort food! I served these as an appetizer to our meal (1 empanada per person). You could also serve these as a main course (2 per person). Amanda had prepared a delicious pesto that she served with fettuccine, paired with a Pascual Toso Malbec.

Although I haven't tried, I bet these empanadas would be a great freezer meal. I'll keep you posted on how that goes :)


- CK

Salted Caramel Apple Pies

We were having some friends over for a fondue the other day. I had the meal aaaaaall figured out: we were going to have a variety of meats, shrimp, veggies, as well as some cheese and black olives to roll the meat around (if you've never tried this - it's a MUST. Melted cheese inside your meat...absolutely delicious!!).

For dessert, I was planning my usual Toblerone chocolate fondue - until I remembered that one of our guests was allergic to nuts! I had to come up with SOMETHING since most chocolate contains nuts and I wasn't sure which kind he was able to have. So, I pulled out a pie recipe that I found at Just a Taste and adjusted it slighty.

Admittedly, it was a long process to make the individual pies, but the result was definitely worth it!!

For the dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup cold sour cream
For the filling
  • 2 cups small diced granny smith apples (peeling is optional) - they shouldn't be bigger than corn kernels
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp all-purpose flour
  • store-bought caramels, cut in half (the ones you get on Halloween work perfectly)
  • Salt
  • Egg wash (1 lighty whisked egg + 1 tsp water)
Make the dough
  1. Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl
  2. Add the cubed butter to the bowl and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until the mixture feels like wet sand
  3. Add the sour cream and knead the dough a few times until it comes together adding more flour (1 tsp at a time) if it's too sticky, and more sour cream (1 tsp at a time) if it's too dry.
  4. Roll the dough into a rectangle and dust both sides with flour. Fold it in thirds, rotate the dough 90 degrees and roll it our into a rectangle again. Do this 2 more times. 
  5. On your last fold, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes while you make the filling.
Make the filling
  1. In a small bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and flour, stirring until mixed.
Assemble the pies
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F
  2. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out to about a half inch. 
  3. Using a cookie cutter, cut out pairs of circles into your dough and place half the pair onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Make sure you end up with an even number of pies. 
  4. Add filling to the circle that's on the cookie sheet and top with a piece of caramel. cover with the second circle and crimp the sides together with a fork
  5. with a sharp knife, cut two or three vents on top of each pie.
  6. Bake the pies for approximately 15 minutes, or until they're golden brown

- CK

Spicy Egg Scramble with Fresh Tortilla

When you try to live frugally, you try to find any opportunity you have to use up the food you have before you do the groceries again. That was the case for me a few days ago. I had a few left overs in my fridge and decided to put them together.

My dad used to cook up a very similar scramble for us when we were kids and remembered how easy it was to put together. Putting the scramble together was going to be easy enough, except I didn't have any bread. To resolve that problem, I pulled out a tortilla recipe I had been wanting to try. Best part is that it only took me 30 minutes to put together! yes yes, cooking up the scramble AND making the tortillas. Perfect recipe for a last minute meal but still full of flavour! Follow the steps below to get it just right :)

Flour Tortilla - Part 1 (yields 2 tortillas)


  • 1 cup flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  1. Combine flour, salt, baking powder in a bowl
  2. Add oil and water and mix until the mixture comes together
  3. Knead on a clean surface sprinkled with flour until you create a smooth ball
  4. Divid dough in half and roll each half into flat tortillas (note: making them very thin will make them tortillas; making them slightly thicker will make them naan bread - both delicious options!)
  5. Cover your tortillas for 15 minutes (note: don't stack your tortillas, it will make them soggy)

Spicy Egg Scramble


  • 2 egg yolks and 1 egg white
  • 2 spicy italian sausages, outside their casing
  • 1 tbsp green onion
  • 1 italian tomato
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. While the dough for your tortillas is resting, start frying your sausage meat in the olive oil
  2. Once the meat is 3/4 cooked, add your eggs and mix well until your eggs are fully cooked
  3. Reduce the head and add the onions and tomatoes. Mix until the vegetables are warm.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste
  5. Cover and let rest until your bread is ready
Flour Tortillas - Part 2
  1. After the rest period, heat a large pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Once the pan is hot, place one dough tortilla and cook for about 1 minute - until the bottom browns slightly and bubbles start to form
  3. Flip your tortilla and cook the same way
  4. Remove from the pan and do the same with your second tortilla

These tortillas were so easy to make that I made a batch of 16 and have kept them in my fridge. They stay just as fresh for quite a long time! I would suggest you give it a try!

Enjoy! :)

- CK

Tomato Barley with Scallops

A's mom and step-dad were coming over a few weeks ago and we wanted to host them properly. While we were walking up and down the isles of the IGA trying to figure out what to cook to make this meal special, we stumbled upon recipe cards. While I had seen them before, I had never actually taken the time to look them over.

At first, we were simply looking for inspiration. But we ended up picking up a few recipes to try out. I was a little intimidated with this recipe at first because I had never cooked barley before. It turned out to be DELICIOUS and so simple to make! We liked it so much, I have a feeling it will easily turn into a go-to dish in our household! (Plus, it's a great source of fiber!)

Ingredients (yields 4 portions)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 1 large can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp each cumin and turmeric
- 1/2 cup roasted red pepper strips, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 bag small frozen scallops (or 20 large scallops)

  1. Defrost your scallops in the fridge overnight.
  2. When you're ready to cook the meal, heat oil in a saucepan. 
  3. Fry onion 1 minute over medium-high heat, add barley and coat well.
  4. Add diced tomatoes, water, cumin, turmeric, and roasted red pepper pieces. 
  5. Salt and pepper to taste and continue cooking while stirring often until barley has absorbed all liquid and is tender.
  6. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over high heat. Melt butter and wait until hot. 
  7. Place scallops in the skillet and cook through.
  8. Serve scallops over a bed of barley.
Yummers! Try it out, let us know how it goes! :)


- CK

Chicken and Plum Sumac with Herbed Feta Quinoa

In an attempt to keep diversity in our meals (while staying healthy and keeping A happy), I picked up the free Fall issue of the LCBO magazine. Filled with recipes and wine pairing suggestions - it was definitely my cup of tea!

The recipe I'm about to introduce was definitely a winner in our home (with slight changes to adapt to my left over ingredients). It's a great recipe to welcome the Fall!

Ingredients: (Yields 4 portions)
For the Chicken and Plums
- 3 plums
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp sumac
- salt and pepper to taste

For the Quinoa
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/3 cups quinoa
- 3/4 cup cubed feta
- 1 tsp each dry parsley, oregano and rosemary
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. If you have a Roast option on your stove, now would be a great time to use it.
2. Slice each plum into 6 chunky wedges. Cut each chicken breast into chunky cubes
3. Place the plums and chicken onto a foil-lined baking sheet.
4. Brush with olive oil and sprinke with sumac. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Roast in the centre of the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and plums are tender.
6. In the meantime, pour the chicken broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil
7. Add quinoa and reduce heat to a simmer. Let cook for 12-15 minutes.
8. Remove from heat and let sit for 8 minutes.
9. Using a fork, fluff the quinoa and add to a bowl. Drop in the feta, olive oil, herbs and pine nuts (if using).
10. Serve the chicken over the quinoa

The LCBO suggests serving it with a Chardonnay from the Niagara Region.

The original recipe served the chicken on couscous. I'll definitely be trying that option next time!


- CK

Pasta with Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Red Cabbage

Every other week, A and I try to plan out our weekly menus. To do so, I usually go through my local grocery store's flyers and compare sales. Then, I look through the recipes I've accumulated from magazines, websites, pinterest, etc. and try to match as many items on sale with ingredients in recipes.

We've found that this technique has helped us save a lot of money, as well as discover new recipes!

One of these recipes comes from the blog Trois Fois Par Jour (french only). Marilou has put together a very simple pasta salad that is full of healthy ingredients and very easy and quick to make. However, I've substituted some ingredients since I had things in my fridge just waiting to be used.

The great thing about this salad is that it can be eaten hot or cold! It's also perfect to bring over to a potluck or serve as a side when you're having people over. We ate it as a main dish and it was perfect!

So here we go:

- 375 g of your pasta of choice (I use whole wheat)
- about 15 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of half a lime
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 cup red cabbage, finely chopped
- 1 cup feta cheese, diced
- salt and pepper to taste

for the sauce:
- 2.5 pieces of roasted red pepper in it's oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tsp mayonnaise
- 1 tsp sugar (next time I would probably use a more natural sugar, like honey)
- 1/2 cup natural greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil

1. Pre-heat your oven to 350F
2. Cook the pasta according to package, rinse under cold water, dry well and reserve
3. In the meantime, spread the cherry tomatoes flesh down on a cookie sheet and spread extra virgin olive oil on top. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
4. In a food processor, or by using a stand mixer, mix all the ingredients for the sauce very well until it becomes creamy. Pour into a salad bowl.
5. Add the lime, green peppers, red cabbage, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes and pasta and mix well.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste

Let us know how yours turned out! Did you make any changes of your own?



Spicy Zucchini "Noodles" with Sausage and Mushrooms

M and I recently went on our honeymoon, which means we're coming back from a week of eating unlimited delicious food and downing tons of awesome girly drinks in the pool. It also means we're feeling pretty sluggish and a little heavier than we were when we left. So, when we got home, I decided to get back into cooking with tons of fresh vegetables. Since I'm mostly off work for the summer days, I've got lots of cooking time on my hands every other day. Even though it's crazy hot out these days, I was craving something warm and filling, so I decided I'd finally try out using zucchini for noodles.

You'll need:
2 or 3 zucchini
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 can diced tomatoes (or dice your own if you've got them)
2 mild Yves meatless sausages (optional- these are obviously a lot healthier than pork sausages, but if you're not into meatless, anything like this would do)
1-2 tsp chili flakes (depending on how hot you like things)
1 clove garlic, minced
olive oil

Optional: feta

Cut the stems off the zucchini, and slice them into noodle shaped/sized strips. You can use a food processor if you have one, but I used a potato peeler to peel off thin strips, then sliced the strips into narrower bits. Eliminate any middle parts that are too wet and seedy.

Put these zucchini "noodles" in a colander in the sink, or over a bowl, and salt them lightly and allow to drain for 30 mins to an hour. This causes the zukes to release extra water and stops them from getting soggy. If you want to go the extra mile, gather the drained noodles and wring them out in paper towel. Set aside.

While these are draining, make the "sauce" for your "noodles".
Start by sauteeing the mushrooms in your oil and garlic until they're nice and brown. Slice the sausages into thin rounds and add them in to the mix. Drain the water from the tomatoes and add them in as well. Season with chili flakes and let simmer for a few minutes.

Heat a little oil in a separate pan, and toss the zucchini in it for no more than a couple of minutes. Combine noodles and sauce in whichever pan is larger. Heat together for about 5 minutes until nicely combined.

Crumble some feta on top, and serve warm.



Salmon Patties with Light Dill Sauce

Wow! It's been a while since we've posted on the blog. Both amanda and I have been quite busy with weddings, showers, family obligations, etc. But we'll try to be a little more consistent this summer!

A and I have set a goal to really eat better. I know, I know. Easier said than done. But this time, we mean it. So I've been looking through old issues of Women's Health Magazine and I found A LOT of really great healthy recipes! I will be sharing try to share a lot of those in the next few weeks.

Here's the first one: Salmon Patties with Light Dill Sauce - As you can see, I really like the salmon and dill combo :)

Salmon Patties:

Ingredients (yields 4 patties):
- 1 salmon filet
- 1/4 of a red pepper, finely chopped
- 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
- 1/4 of a red onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/8 cup of parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 whole egg + 1 egg white, lightly beaten

1. Pre-heat your oven to 400F. Place your salmon on an aluminum dish and bake until cooked through (approx. 20 minutes). Let cool completely, place in a bowl, and flake with a fork.
2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil (medium-high heat) and cook the red pepper, celery, onion, garlic and parsley until the vegetables are tender (approx. 10 minutes). Let cool completely and add to the salmon.
3. Add the breadcrumbs and eggs to the salmon-veggies mixture and mix well.
4. Form 4 patties with the mixture (it will be wet), place on a dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5. In the same skillet you used to cook the veggies, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and cook the patties, 3 minutes on each side.
6. Serve with Light Dill Sauce

Light Dill Sauce:

- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tbsp light mayonnaise (to thicken, this is optional)
- 2 tsp dry dill
- 1 tsp lemon juice

Simply mix all the ingredients together! Pour over salmon cakes and voila! :)