My Sweet Marie

Archive for October 2014

Today Denis and I celebrate our 34th anniversary. I’ve declared my love on this blog a few times, Ok maybe more than a few times, but none the less, today I will do it differently, I will give poetry a shot here, don’t judge people!


Denis, my dear, today I remember our young love, that seems so long ago,

so much has happened in  the years that we’ve been man and wife.

We’ve raised two girls, who’ve grown to be true blue to me and you,

grand-kids being our bonus for giving them life!


Denis, my dear, today I remember our years together

some days sheer fun and some just a bit rougher,

Side by side we muddled through it all

with you, I can handle any fall!


Denis, my dear, today I remember our travels, with and without our girls,

camping, winter sunny holidays, and out-of-town family visits

exploring the world to find the spots we love to revisit,

to share our love of nature, life and fun!


Denis, today I remember a man who has stood by my side,

job or no job, on the good days and the bad days,

Loyal to the core, right there where I needed you.


Denis, today I remember you, the prankster, the  jokster,

the saran wrap on the toilet, oh yes, I haven’t forgotten,

the rubber band on the kitchen hose to spray me the second I turned on the tap,

just to witness you giggle, is worth every damp moment!


Denis, today I remember you, the man I married 34 years ago

not knowing where life would take us, but knowing full well,

that if it was by your side, then it was where I wanted to be.


Denis today I remember you and me on our wedding day,

and think if someone had told me all we would go through,

would I still do it? The answer my dear,  is absolutely yes, I do!


Love you with all my heart Denis xo

Your Sweet Marie




I love to make up my spices in little jars, that way on any given day I can whip up a dish and know that the spices are all ready to go! When making dinner or planning one, I open my spice cabinet and think to myself “hmm what do I fee like today?” I see my Mexican spice or any other of my blends and plan from there. I know, not exactly scientific or well planned but hey that’s how I roll! Here’s an easy blend for you to whip up,  and feel free to mix it up a bit (get the pun there?), add more heat or less heat, more garlic for more tang, more chipotle for smoke etc. It’s all in what you like! Use this blend to make tacos, fajitas, burritos, etc.


  • 2 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. dried cilantro or coriander
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (more if you want more heat)
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder (more if you want more smoke)

Blend all together and store in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Use as a ‘taco seasoning in dips, tacos, fajitas etc.

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?




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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