My Sweet Marie

Archive for November 2011

When I was a kid, I can remember visiting my grand-mother(Meme) and her having the taffy out for us all to enjoy! This is a recipe that has lasted several generations and still we pass it on! Wrap it in festive wrap and share with family and friends! Here’s the recipe, enjoy!


  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 lb butter (not margarine!)


  1. Combine all ingredients over low heat until soft ball stage. I use a nice big pot and a thick one.
  2. Once you’re sure you’re at soft ball stage, pour all the taffy into a well-greased baking sheet with a lip.
  3. Let cool in fridge.
  4. Cut/break into squares and wrap in waxed paper or a colored cellophane!



I was asked today for my shortbread cookies recipe so I thought…hmmm must be Christmas baking time! Here’s my recipe which was shared with me years ago by a neighbor friend Debbie! I wonder if she’s still making these cookies today?


  • 1 pound of butter
  • 1 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 4 cups of flour or till dough cracks


  1. Cream the butter, add in the sugar, then add flour till the dough cracks.
  2. Roll and cut into shapes.
  3. Bake at 350 till just golden on the edges!



  • spring mix
  • 1/4 c. sun-dried cherries
  • 1/4 c. walnuts
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 1/2 c. red onion sliced
  • 1/2 c. red pepper slivered
  • 1/2  c. goat’s cheese or swiss if you like it


  • 1/2 c. mayo
  • 1/3 c. maple syrup
  • 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c. olive oil


  1. Toss salad with all ingredients.
  2. Make dressing by whipping up all the dressing ingredients.
  3. Toss salad with dressing just before serving. Likely won’t need all the dressing for one salad!

You know you’re getting on in years when you start going to retirement parties! Today I attended a party for my brother Denis, not to be confused with my husband Denis!(Although they both could be confused with Denis the menace as boys!) My brother is only 51 and retired from Ford’s recently! I am so proud of him, as he had so many teachers under estimate him as a child. Well, he proved them all wrong as he one of the smartest guys going!

Denis is number 6 in the family ‘seniority’ line as it’s called with my sibs. I am number 7 so you know he’s older than me but not by much! Growing up we sure had our fair share of battles, oh my! I do remember us having some good times tho, playing hockey in the winter when we had ice and there weren’t enough boys to play with. I always liked it when the Rivard boys were out of town, then I got to play! God forbid he should be seen playing hockey with a girl, much less his sister! He was probably worried I’d beat him!

Denis went to work for Fords when he was 23, that was a very smart move on his part! Now here is 51 almost 52, and retired with a pension! I hear his buddies, the Lanoue boys, are keeping him busy with odd jobs, smart guys as you won’t find a better worker than Denis! He can fix anything, and he’s quite good at the wood-working, I hope he’ll take some time to himself to enjoy that hobby. I also hope he’ll take some time to take a holiday with that wife of his, Michelle, they deserve it!

Michelle and their two daughters, Whitney and Stefanie, threw a very nice party today. When everyone walked in the first thing they said is “What’s with the ketchup bottles?”. There were ketchup bottles lined up at each person’s place setting and the bottle had a neck tag that said “thanks for kecthin’ up with us”! I loved it!

The other neat thing that I liked were the little forms they left on the table that had questions like “tell a funny story about Denis’ or What did Denis do to make you happy?  We heard some funny stories up there when the girls got up to read them!

Of course as with any Quenneville party, there was loads of food of all varieties! You cannot go to a party of ours and go home hungry, if that’s the case, there is a problem!

So Denis, I want you to know that I am very happy for you, and very jealous!  I am very proud of you for being the main provider for your family for so many years and I also hope you will take some time to treat yourself to a trip or twenty and have some fun!

Sincerest regards,

Sweet Marie


  • 1 lb of chicken(boneless chopped or bone-in legs,thighs,breasts)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 carrots shredded or diced
  • 1 stalk of celery diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4-6 cups of water
  • 2 cups white kidney beans cooked or 1 can
  • 1 cup of cut green beans
  • 1 cup mushrooms diced or sliced
  • 1 cup of frozen veg mix(your choice)
  • 2 cups of milk or cream( I use coconut milk or rice milk)


  1. Sautee onion,carrot,celery and chicken in 1 tbsp olive oil till pink is gone.
  2. Add in the broth or water, bring to a boil.
  3. Add the beans and veggies, bring to a boil again. cook for 15 minutes or so.
  4. If you used bone-in chicken, at this point you’ll need to scoop out your chicken and de-bone it and then add it back in the soup. Be careful to not get bones in the soup.
  5. Add in the milk, lower the heat and let cook for 10 minutes or so.
  6. if you want to thicken it, you can do so with a cornstarch/water thickener but I don’t find it needed.
  7. Enjoy !

Yesterday Denis came home from a week on the road and he commented on how he missed my soup all week! You see, I make a big pot of soup every week and we eat it all week-long for lunch and sometimes dinner! when you’re on the road, it’s not likely homemade soup that you’re getting! I try to change it up with different flavours every week but they all have beans, veggies and most often meat of some kind!

Denis was saying that his co-worker Denis P. wants to learn how to make soup, and I hear he’s a reader of my blog so Denis P. if you’re reading, here’s how I do it! I have several recipes in my soup category and will be adding one more today but I make it the same way every time but I vary the ingredients!

First you start with a nice big pot, you throw in a bit(1-2 tbsp) of olive oil, heat that up! Now you toss in the mirepois(carrots,celery,onions diced) and sautee them. If you’re adding meat like chicken or turkey, it can go in now too. A tip on the meat, boneless is easier to chop and use but I like to use chicken with bones because it really adds flavor to the broth! Just cook this till the meat is no longer pink, doesn’t have to be cooked thoroughly.

Now you’ll add the water and/or chicken broth. I would add a total of 8 cups. I like to use the low sodium broths or the organics as they don’t have msg, and water. So get all that boiling. Once you’ve got a boil going on, you can gather up some more veggies, you can use canned, frozen or fresh, your call. I use a combination of all of them! I also like to throw in a can of diced tomatoes, they add flavor and texture to your soup! I like to use green beans, frozen veg mix and perhaps a zucchini or sweet potato!

So it’s all boiling and smelling good now right? It’s time to add a can of beans, I like white kidney, but chick peas, black beans,lentils… they all work! Once all of that is nicely cooked, shut off your heat and toss in 1/2 cup of dry pasta and put a lid on it. Let it sit for 1/2 hour or so before scooping it out into your bowls!

So there you have it, it really is easy to make soup! I also will toss all the ingredients(except the pasta) in a crock pot and let it go all day on low while I am working or out and about! when I get home, if I am adding pasta, I toss it in and let it go for another half hour or so.

I hope this helps you in your soup making quest and you and your son enjoy many a warm bowls of soup together! If you need help, just call!

Warmest regards,

Sweet Marie


Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”

—  Maya Angelou