My Sweet Marie

Recently I started a new job, the best part you ask? It’s part-time! I love it, I work with great people and I get all kinds of time to do the things I love. One of the things I love to do? Cooking and then there’s writing about cooking…I could go on! today I made a large batch of salsa and it tastes and smells amazing, can’t wait to dig in! Here’s how I did it!


  •  5 lbs chopped tomatoes
  • 4 lbs chopped peaches
  • 2 .5 lbs chopped pears
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 1 Spanish onion chopped
  • 4-6  jalapeño peppers, finely chopped; seeding is optional
  • 1 head finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 limes zest and juice
  • 1/2 cup (50 ml) white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) liquid honey
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground chipotle chile powder



  1. Prepare your jars, you’ll need 12 pints(500ml)
  2.  Wash, seed and coarsely chop tomatoes; drain off excess liquid; Blanch, peel, pit/core and chop peaches and pears.
  3. In a large stock pot, combine tomatoes, peaches, pears, red pepper, onion and jalapeño peppers. Bring to a boil. Add cilantro, lime zest and juice,  vinegar,spices and honey; boil gently 5 minutes.
  4.  Ladle salsa into a hot jar to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more salsa. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining salsa.
  5. When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time.  process –boil filled jars – 20 minutes.
  6.  When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. ( I cover my counter with a large heavy blanket and use to protect my counter and keep the jars warm longer). Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
  7. After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed.  Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year. Like it’ll last a year!!
  8. enjoy with nachos or over top chicken, or  use to make an awesome chicken taco salad! How will you use your salsa?




Originally posted on My Sweet Marie:

I have been gluten and dairy-free for two years now. every once in a while, I get people asking me advice on where to get this or that, what should I eat etc. I thought I’d post some helpful tips for those that are newly gluten-free or have been for a while!

Surprising products which you’ll find gluten in:

  • soy sauce ( I buy gluten-free soy sauce)
  • licorice
  • malt vinegar
  • beer (though you can find g.f. beer easily these days)
  • communion wafers
  • modified food starch (corn starch, potato starch are fine)
  • medicines (talk to the pharmacist)
  • breading (really is this a shock?)
  • canned soups and dry mixes or cubes
  • salad dressings
  • imitation seafood
  • imitation bacon (buy the real thing!)
  • many canned sauces or marinades
  • pasta (rice or corn pasta are great)
  • lunch meats
  • gravy (make it homemade!)
  • oatmeal ( oats are technically gluten-free but beware if they’re processed in a…

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I am always on the look-out for ways to serve chicken! We eat a lot of chicken in this house so new ideas are always welcome! What’s your favourite way to eat chicken? Here’s my latest recipe!


  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 4 cups of spinach chopped (or kale)
  • 1 med onion diced
  • 4 oz goat cheese crumbled or ricotta would work if you can tolerate dairy
  • 8 slices of prosciutto
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil


  1. Take your chicken breast and slice through it to butterfly it. Be careful not to slice right thru! Just slice carefully through the fat part and press open like a book. Pound a bit to flatten. Salt and pepper both sides.
  2. In a fry pan, sauté the onion, once translucent, add the spinach till wilted. Remove from stove.
  3. Once your spinach/onion mix is cooled add the goats cheese or the ricotta.
  4. On your clean work surface, lay your chicken breasts and top equally between the 4 breasts, with the mixture. fold the breast over to close the book.
  5. Wrap the prosciutto around the closed breasts completely.
  6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes till cooked.
  7. Enjoy!

Being a gluten and dairy intolerant diner sometimes makes a dining experience intimidating for the diner and the server! This week I had two dining experiences, one was great, one was frightful! Let me tell you about the great one!

Kel’s in Sarnia is in a strip mall on Christina street North. From the outside you wouldn’t expect too much, but take my word for it, go in there! It’s an old Timmie’s unit so not real fancy on the outside but they’ve made it quite cozy on the inside. Go in there today and tomorrow and tell your friends to go in, and their friends and so on and so on! They are a breakfast and lunch spot that is a little known secret in town. I should say secret weapon! You need to check them out!

Their food is made to order and it’s all delicious. You won’t find any processed chicken fingers here or any processed food, Kelly will make sure of that and I’m pretty sure Bev would back him up! I had the good luck of stopping in on chicken finger day and I asked the server if they’d make them gluten-free, and Kelly the chef agreed to, just like that. They make gluten and/or dairy exceptions whenever possible and with notice they can even make their waffles gluten-free.  You see, they’d need to really clean the waffle iron, not to mention whip up a batch of gluten-free batter! But they’ll do it, just let them know you’re coming and that you need them to be gluten-free.

Speaking of waffles, they make them homemade, not a batter mix, and they have a different one every week! Last week was lemon meringue waffles, week before was carrot cake waffles, and I know they’ve done black forest waffles and so on. I haven’t had them but I’ve seen them and the faces of the lucky diners on the receiving end, pretty sure the smiles meant they were very tasty!

They do an a la carte breakfast where you can choose the sides you want, want all meat and no eggs? Ok, you can do that. Want all eggs and no meat, yep can do that do! If you’re a person that needs to not make decisions first thing in the morning, just tell your server you want bacon, eggs and home fries, they can do that too! It’s not rocket science but we just don’t see this done much so for some people it may be intimidating to order a la carte, but have no fear, you’ll be glad you did!

While I was there, I heard one fella tell Maria, the server, that those were the best eggs benny that he had ever had. No big surprise when you have a homemade English muffin and a homemade hollandaise, not from a tin! That’s right, homemade and they’ll even do gluten-free English muffins.(notice is appreciated by them for the g.f. muffins)

So back to my chicken fingers, they came with a homemade smoked apple bbq sauce, crispy, gluten-free and 100% yummy! That’s my technical term there, yummy! They were accompanied by a huge helping of sweet potato chips to boot! Honestly, sometimes dining out can be a bit of a nightmare for me so on most days I pack a lunch but on Thursday I was so happy that I did not!

At Kel’s you will find the prices reasonable, the service friendly and the food outstanding! Please go out and support your local restaurateurs today, the chains will survive a day or two without you!

Check them out on Facebook, just type in Kel’s Sarnia and you will get to see pics and more info!

Bon Appetit!

Sweet Marie


It’s still peach season so why not whip up some yummy Carrots with Peaches!

Originally posted on My Sweet Marie:

This would be a great side dish to chicken or pork! Easy to do and colorful!

You need:

  • 1 lb of baby carrots
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  •  3 peaches peeled and sliced
  1. In a saucepan boil the carrots in the apple juice,covered.Cook till tender. Drain
  2. Melt the butter and brown sugar together. Add in the peaches till tender.
  3. Add in the carrots. Stir to coat the carrots. Serve warm.

Bon Appetit!

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I am a big fan of the Lara bars but often have a hard time finding them! I have found out that they are real simple to make! You must try these recipes! go ahead, get creative and come up with your own flavor.

Cashew coconut bar

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup dates pitted
  • 1/2-3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut


  1. Throw all the ingredients in your food processor and process until all very sticky. It’s be a big sticky mess, when that happens, it’s done!
  2. Pour into a 8×8 pan that has been lined with either parchment or saran wrap. flatten.
  3. Put in fridge to chill for an hour or so.
  4. Cut into bars to a size of your liking. enjoy!

Cherry Pecan Bars

  • 1 cup sundried cherries
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup of dates

Directions same as above.


Banana Walnut Bars

  • 1 cup banana chips
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup of dates

Ditto on directions. Enjoy!



It’s picnic season folks, pick a few things off my list, grab your sweetie and head for a beach, the hills, or a park!

Originally posted on My Sweet Marie:

There’s nobody who loves a picnic more than me…I don’t think! I love to pack it and I love to attend them! One time I packed a picnic for a friend that just had a baby. I called her and said don’t make dinner, I am bringing it over. I told her hubby to call me when the baby was settled and to lay a blanket on the living room floor! I packed them a beautiful dinner of salad, peach poached chicken, green beans almondine, rice and I know I packed an appetizer and  dessert but cannot remember what they were. She said that they had food for two days and I was glad for it! How nice not to worry about food when you have a new baby in the house!

Now back to picnics, I mean the pack a basket of food and head to the nearest park or…

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