My Sweet Marie

Archive for February 2013

This recipe is borrowed from Udi’s gluten-free snack ideas!

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat grill(BBQ) to medium heat.
  2. In a medium bowl, gently toss cherries in olive oil. Place cherries into a large piece of tin foil and fold to seal foil at the top.
  3. Transfer cherries in foil to the heated grill; cook for 10-12 minutes or until tender.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mash avocados until it forms a chunky consistency.
  5. Remove cherries from grill; set aside for 2 minutes to cool then add to the guacamole mixture along with remaining ingredients; mix well to combine.
  6. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or chicken or fish. Garnish with additional fresh cilantro or basil. Enjoy!
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Today I was doing the clean-out-the-fridge before holidays thing, and at the same time was gathering ingredients to make a chicken caesar for dinner! While cleaning the crisper, I found 1 lonely jalapeno and a some fresh parsley and oh a few things, let me tell you what I did to make a rocking dressing! What you’ll need:

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp dijon
  • 1 tsp soya sauce (gluten-free or not)or worcestire
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • handful of fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, fresh is best
  • head of romaine, washed and cut
  • croutons, if wanted, gf of course!
  • 4-6 slices turkey bacon or real if your body says so! cooked and crumbled
  • 2 chicken breasts cooked and sliced
  • parmesan if you can have
  • any veg you’d like to add like shred carrot, onion, red pepper, cucumber or tomato

Directions:

  1. In your blender or coffee grinder, (that’s what I used) blend the garlic, parsley and one jalapeno. you’ll have a lovely green paste!
  2. Put that  paste into a jar and add the mayo, mustard,soy and lemon juice. Shake till well combined. It should be a nice thick consistency, if not add more mayo, if too thick add lemon juice.
  3. In a large salad bowl, layer your ingredients starting with the lettuce, then bacon,chicken, croutons and veggies if using. ( I used red onion, red pepper and shred carrot)
  4. Add the dressing right before service and toss,  then add the parmesan. At our house we put the parmesan on the table and those that can have it, help themselves.
  5. Enjoy!!

Today’s cold weather demanded a nice hot stew like dish! I had stewing beef and I had red wine so guess what it was? that’s right…beef bourgignone! It sounds hard to make but it is easy as can be! why don’t you whip up a batch for you and the loved ones today? Here’s how:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs stewing beef
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb mushrooms sliced
  • 1 spanish onion
  • 2-3 carrots peeled and chopped, optional
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp slat
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl mix 1/2 cup red wine, 2 cloves of garlic, salt and ground black pepper. Coat the beef cubes with this mixture. let marinate for 2 hours.
  2. Melt the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the drained meat (reserve the juices)and brown well on all sides. Pour this into a 2 quart casserole dish.
  3. Return the skillet to the heat and add the onion, carrots, mushrooms and garlic to it. Saute for 5 to 10 minutes, or until onion is tender. Add the beef broth, wine and reserved juices, bay leaf.
  4. Bring to a boil and you may thicken the sauce by using a flour roux or cornstarch/water mix.
  5. Delicious served over rice noodles or rice or mashed potatoes!

Recently my step-father Fred passed away, he had been in hospital for weeks and sadly died after a lengthy battle with congestive heart disease. The long drive back and forth to hospital took its toll on Mom and it took her a couple weeks to recoup! On Wednesday I went to her place to help her out and we had a sleepover!

I don’t know if you’ve had a sleepover at your Mother’s lately but you might want to consider it! I had such fun and I think she’d tell you that she did as well! We started out with a nice drive, in the sunshine, to Windsor to meet Colette for lunch at Shin Shin’s. The drive gave us time to catch up and with it being just her and i, there weren’t many interruptions!

Lunch at Shin  Shin’s is always delicious, it doesn’t matter what you order! I had the squid, Mom had beef and Colette had shrimp! It isn’t hard to screw up squid but mine’s was tender, spicy and sooo good! Thank you chefs at Shin Shin’s! Of course lunch was a jumble of conversations, jumping tracks right and left! One second you’re talking about Fred, the next we’re talking vacations! Really it was hard to keep up! After hugs and kisses, we and Colette,  say good-bye and went our separate ways.

On the way back, Mom says she’d like me to meet her Timmy friends. These are ladies that she meets at Tim Horton’s in Tilbury a couple of times a week! There’s Alice that has a hilarious laugh, Brenda who sat by the window and kept an eye out for who’s coming in, Donna who had some good advice for Mom and Judy who made me laugh a few times! They are all lovely women and I am so grateful that Mom has these friends that she can chat with and who make her smile! Unfortunately we missed out on Aunt Cecile and Sharmyn who generally join the ladies as well, oh well, maybe next time!

For dinner that night, I whipped up some pan-fried pickerel and green beans and cole slaw! Does it get any better than that? Mom is a perfectly great cook but I wanted to cook for her and let her relax, she’s still building her strength up, so why not? We totally enjoyed our fish, with hmms and ahhs all round!

We turned on the tv to watch Survivor but I’m not convinced that Mom was following! I don’t think she was impressed much by it, we’ll see if she’s watching it next Wednesday! We even had a few chips to go with our show, a real treat for both of us!

The next morning we got to work! We cleaned out Fred’s dresser, reminiscing the whole time. Mom would make a comment about how much Fred liked this shirt or that and how much she hated this one  or where that one came from. I let her go on all she wanted as I figure it’s what she needed! We didn’t get to the closet yet but I think we’ll do that one next time!

After a nice healthy lunch of chicken noodle soup, I had to bid her adieu! London was calling out to me! Time to get home, I guess! I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with Mom and plan to do many more! I use to hate that I live far from her but today I am glad I do cause I got to sleep over when I visited!

Sweetest regards,,

Sweet Marie

Today Denis cooked, a rare occasion, let me tell you! He made us a delicious pasta dish with shrimps and salmon in a creamy sauce. This is what he did!

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz salmon
  • 8 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb of mushrooms
  • 1 bag of gluten-free pasta (any pasta really!)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • fresh or dry dill
  • lemon zest of 1 lemon

Directions:

  1. Get your water boiling for the pasta!
  2. In a large fry pan, sautee the mushrooms,garlic, salmon and shrimp till nice and golden!
  3. add in the can of coconut milk to the seafood/mushrooms. Add in the dill and lemon.
  4. Bring it to a boil, let simmer, it will thicken some.
  5. Cook your pasta according to the pkg, drain and add to your sauce! Mix and serve with a lovely green salad!

Today we will gather to celebrate Evelyn’s first birthday! There’ll be balloons, presents, people and mostly food! I am bringing homemade mac and cheese! The kiddies will love me…even more! Here’s how I will do it:

Ingredients:

  • bag of gluten-free pasta
  • 3 cups of cheddar shredded
  • 2 cups of almond milk (any milk will work)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or marg
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free  bread crumbs
  • 1 tomato sliced
  • roux of cornstarch/water

Directions:

  1. bring large pot of salted water to boil. cook pasta as per directions.
  2. melt butter, add in garlic, simmer. Add in milk.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Stir in roux to thicken. Set aside, take off heat.
  5. Once pasta is cooked and drained, mix with half of the sauce.
  6. In a greased casserole dish, put in half of the macaroni.
  7. Add 1 cup of cheese and 1/2 cup of sauce, then the rest of the pasta.
  8. Top with the rest of sauce, more cheese then over all that, the crumbs.
  9. Gently lay the tomato slices over the crumbs and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or till bubbling.

Let me start by just saying that growing up, I was raised as a good Catholic girl! You memorized your prayers and never wavered from them! You said them over and over again until you remembered them by rote.  I can’t say though that I ever prayed with my family, not that I can remember.  Yes, we all went to church together every Sunday, all of us sat in a pew together, Mom and Dad and eight little blond heads! We looked innocent enough!

Recently while in Australia, I found myself living with a family to whom I was practically a stranger! They were incredibly hospitable, kind and generous! What amazed me most were their prayer meetings in the morning, the whole family. I found it touching to say the least.

I don’t know how common this is, as I’ve never experienced anything like it, so truly I may sound a bit like an idiot here! Forgive me if I do. They would gather in the family room, sit around and discuss who they needed or wanted to pray for. I was incredibly touched when I was included in these prayers.

They would start with the youngest child, and then one by one they would talk to God and ask for healing for the sick, patience with loved ones, guidance for surgeons, strength for family needing it, and so on. I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed, it was truly lovely.

I thought to myself, why didn’t I do this with my family, children? Are there many people out there doing this? If not, why not? Why are people so afraid to pray to God? If you’re not doing this, I hope you’ll try it and pray with your loved ones, you could help so many!

I was with them for six short days but feel as though I have known them a lifetime, they have changed how I think about prayer and I how look at life. I only hope that someday they can come to Canada and I can repay their kindness!

Love to you all in Australia!

Sweet Marie