Category Archives: appetizer

Parmesan Bubble Loaf

Chef Karen: If you like garlic bread, this is one step up from that. It’s an easy bread that you use frozen dough for – you can make your own but why? 🙂 Be prepared to make yourself stop eating it……… it’s THAT good!

Parmesan Bubble Loaf

Chef Jonathan: One word: Parmesan! This Parmesan Bubbleloaf is everything that butter, garlic and Parmesan were made for. This goes perfectly with pretty much anything. I made a cheese capellini with a rose sauce, and it was a perfect addition. Definitely try this at home, and do what I did: pour the excess butter mixture over the Bubbleloaf, and add more parm on top, enjoy!


Here is the recipe:

1 loaf of frozen bread dough
1/2 C of melted butter
1/2 C of parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Thaw the bread dough on the counter by putting it on a plate sprayed with cooking oil. Spray the top of the bread, lightly, and then cover with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out.
Once the bread is thawed, do the following:
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the melted butter, cheese and garlic all together.
Spray an 8″x8″ pan.
Rip the dough into little balls.
Roll the balls into the butter mixture.
Place the balls in the pan.
Cover and let rise until double.
Then, bake for 25- 30 minutes.



The Taste: Appetizers

Chef Karen and I have really been enjoying the new show, The Taste, airing on ABC, so we decided to have a little competition of our own. The challenge: make one appetizer in under 1 hour, to fit on one spoon, with The Taste being the focal point. The secret ingredient: cardamom.

Chef Karen: I decided to add cardamom to rice to create something. I cooked some Jasmine rice and then added salt and pepper, a bit of olive oil and the cardamom (powder) – all to taste. I laid a spinach leaf on the spoon and then plated the rice on top of it with a slice of cucumber and a dash of soy sauce. It turned out to be very good – and a nice refreshing appetizer.

The Taste

Chef Jonathan: For my appetizer, I decided to make Deep-fried Shrimp with Cardamom-Infused Aioli. For the shrimp, I took my peeled, deveined, shrimp (tails on), and did a three step dredge: in the first bowl I mixed flour, salt & pepper and paprika to taste. In the second bowl, 3 eggs with a splash of milk to lighten it, and in the final bowl, bread crumbs with salt & pepper. Once shrimp is dredged, drop into a deep fryer, set to 375 F, and shrimp will only take 30 secs to 1 minute to fry. Place on a plate lined with paper towel, and leave to cool. For the aioli, I placed my cardamom in a food processor, and pulsed until the pods open to reveal the seeds inside. Whisk 2 eggs in a large bowl, add minced garlic as desired (I added 10 cloves), whisk in 1 C EVOO in a steady stream, mix in 2-3 T lemon juice, and season with salt & pepper to taste. The shrimp goes so well with the aioli, I think they were made for each other, enjoy!



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Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner

We had the wonderful opportunity to share in the creating of our Thanksgiving Dinner together.  We’re posting our thoughts and pictures of what we created from the amuse bouche to dessert.  Our pictures aren’t professional as we were taking most of them as we were passing the plates around the table….. we were too hungry to be picky about pictures!  We hope you enjoy our pictures and comments. We are thankful for you, our readers and hope that you continue to gain excitement from our blogs.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup: This spicy soup was easy to make. It’s best taken as a shot (which we did compared to the picture on the website where they use mugs) as it has a bit of spice to it. You can find the recipe at:

Peach Punch: I was tiring of my same-old punch so I tried something new.  I placed peach slices in simple syrup (1C water to 1C sugar) and froze it in a ring.  To serve, pour 1 container of peach juice and 1 bottle of a sparkling citrus soda together over the peach ring.  Quite refreshing on the palette as one eats turkey and stuffing. We went virgin on this recipe but here is the inspiration for it:

Cranberry Sauce: No Thanksgiving dinner would be complete without cranberry sauce.  The canned stuff just doesn’t do it for us so we make it from scratch.  It tastes much better, anyway.  The inspiration for this recipe comes from the Foodnetwork but an addition of orange marmalade was made part-way through cooking.  It was a good decision which will now be the “norm” when making this recipe. Here’s where to find the original:

Pumpkin Cheesecake: We saved awesome-ness for the end with Pumpkin Cheesecake.  It’s become a favourite at our house.  Here’s the recipe: 


We aren’t the only 2 chefs in the family.  We had help making: Green Bean Casserole, Garlic Potatoes, Praline Sweet Potatoes and Sausage Stuffing.  And of course, the main player… the Turkey. Here are the pictures to whet your palettes:


Week #27 – Mexican Fiesta!

Chef Jonathan: We wanted to try something new and fun this week for our blog, and what says fun more than a fiesta! I made the Chicken Mango Tacos, but due to the unripeness of the mangoes, I’ve renamed it, Spicy Jalapeño Chicken Tacos. Despite the mango situation, it was fairly easy as long as you remove all the seeds from the Jalapeño peppers. I also added cilantro, which added a nice garnish. I also made Bobby’s guacamole, which is a nice recipe, although I added lots of garlic, because that’s my preference. For the Virgin Margaritas, I ended up adding some lemon juice and sugar, because there wasn’t much taste. I also garnished with a lime quarter. I love all these recipes, and I will likely use them all again. Enjoy!

Karen: I LOVE tacos but we usually pile on the cheddar cheese and sour cream when we make them. I found some newer recipes quite refreshing. They’re taken from this month’s Food Network Magazine. I made the “Chicken and Vegetables” tacos and the “Chicken-Mango” tacos. I also assembled Bobby Flay’s guacamole recipe.

All of the recipes were very easy to make. I followed each recipe as directed. My only mistake was putting too much cayenne on the chicken for the “Chicken-Mango” recipe. It made me, my husband and one guest cough uncontrollably. Thankfully, the “dust” settled and we were able to enjoy the meal.

I placed the ingredients in separate bowls instead of putting together the tacos for everyone. My dinner guests had fun mixing the different ideas together and creating their own Mexican masterpieces.

I also served Virgin Margaritas. They were pretty good.

I highly recommend trying these recipes. Happy Cinqo De Mayo!

Chicken-Mango Taco: Mix 1 chopped mango, 2 tablespoons each minced red onion and scallion, 1 teaspoon each minced jalapeno and lime juice, and salt. Season 1 pound chicken cutlets with salt and cayenne; grill and slice. Serve in tortillas with the mango salsa.





Chicken and Vegetable Taco: Saute 1/4 cup chopped onion and 1 teaspoon each minced garlic and jalapeno in oil. Add 1 1/2 cups each corn and chopped zucchini; cook until crisp-tender. Stir in 2 cups shredded cooked chicken, and cilantro, lime juice and salt to taste. Serve in tortillas.

Bobby Flay’s Guacamole:

  • 4 ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted, and chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a molcajete and mix to a chunky consistency
. Season, to taste, with salt, pepper, and cilantro.

Virgin Margaritas: Ingredients:

1 Can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed

1/4 Cup orange juice

2 tbsp Kosher salt

1/2 Lime, cut into 4 wedges

4 Cups ice cubes

How to make Virgin Margarita:

Put the salt in a shallow dish and rub the rim of each margarita glass

Dip the rims into the salt and keep the lime wedges aside.a glasses with a lime wedge.

In a blender, blend the orange juice, limeade and ice cubes on high speed for about 1 to 2 minutes till well blended and the ice cubes are crushed.

Now pour into the glasses, garnish it with the lime wedges and serve.

Here is a taco that was created using all of the ingredients!

Week 17 – Ginger Carrot Soup

Chef Jonathan: I found this recipe in my new Food Network Magazine, and it looked so amazing that I thought we should try it for our blog. The main thing that took me the longest was the prep. You should always do this first, as part as your Mise to get it out of the way, and then you can go through the recipe, step by step without any problems. I had a very strong ginger taste in my soup, which I like, but for some people it may be undesirable, so be cautious of how much you add. The only other thing I would have added to this recipe, is some 35% cream. It thickens the soup a bit, and gives a nice creamy viscosity.


Karen:  When I was a kid, if my Mom would have said to me, “We’re having carrot soup for supper,” I would have gone to my friend, Doreen’s, for the night.  But many years later, my son says to me, “Let’s make Guy Fieri’s carrot soup for our blog,” and it’s a different story.  I made it, I ate it and I liked it!  This recipe is so easy and quite tasty. My one hint would be about the ginger.  After Chef Jonathan told me he put too much in, I was careful about my amount.  I don’t think I added enough.  I put in the tablespoon that it called for but I might put in 1 1/2 tablespoons next time.  Other than that, I followed the recipe as written and it was yummy! Here’s a picture of mine – don’t you LOVE the colour?  and what follows is the link to the recipe.


Recipe for Ginger Carrot soup from the Foodnetwork website and found in this months edition of the Foodnetwork Magazine.


Week #12 – Flatbread with Bacon and Scallion Pesto

Chef Jonathan’s Part:

So, I decided to make mine into a pizza instead of a flatbread. It just sounded more fun. That’s the good thing about this recipe, is that you can do so many different variations. I also used my own pesto recipe, using basil, garlic, pine nuts, EVOO, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. It’s very simple, but I believe that’s usually the best part, are the simplest and freshest ingredients. I also cooked my onions to the point of being carmelized! Yum! I carmelize onions whenever possible, it is the most delicious way in my opinion. I also just love the “sauce” layer of sour cream, it’s a little different than the traditional function of a pizza sauce, but it works nicely with this recipe, and it draws everything together! Enjoy!

Karen’s Part:

All I had to say to my husband was the word “bacon” and he loved this recipe already! 🙂  In all seriousness, this is an easy recipe to follow and to make.  I chose to use the rolled pizza dough instead of the frozen one but i’m sure it turned out just as well.  I wasn’t that excited about the scallion pesto but it was ok.  I might try basil pesto next time as that is one of my favs.  It says to keep the bacon warm and I recommend following that advice.  I didn’t “get the fact” that the crust bakes and then you add the other ingredients to it.  I felt they were a bit cold.  I’m pretty sure it could be placed back in the oven, with the oven turned off, to warm the whole thing up, if necessary.  Try it.  It was good for a Sunday evening light supper and it would make a great appetizer for a party.  Enjoy!

Here’s the recipe we got it from the Food Network


Guarnaschelli, Alex. “Flatbread With Bacon and Scallion Pesto Recipe : Alexandra Guarnaschelli : Food Network.” Food Network – Easy Recipes, Healthy Eating Ideas and Chef Recipe Videos. 04 Dec. 2011. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <;.