Chicken Vol Au Vent

I always have a package of these shells in the freezer and this is a wonderful way to use them and enjoy a great light lunch or dinner before going out for the evening.

  • 1 cup chicken stock (homemade is best)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 minced large shallot
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped white mushrooms, trimmed and cleaned
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 2-3 tbsp. good white wine
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, skin removed
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 Vol au Vent shells, baked as per instructions on package

In a saucepan, put in the stock and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat.

Melt the butter in a fry pan and cook the onions for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic and cook a further minute.

Add the mushrooms and cook until tender and golden in colour.

Sprinkle the flour  over and, stirring constantly, cook for a minute. Add the wine and continue cooking until it has all evaporated. Pour this into the stock and add the chicken breasts. Cook this for about 3-4 minutes, until thickened.

Stir in the remaining ingredients. Carefully spoon into the baked shells. If you wish, pour a glass of chilled white wine and Voila! a perfect meal.


Mushroom Tart

Here is another way to make something new…we are supposed to be learning something while at home, so this is delicious and you will probably make it again and again.

  • 2 1/2 cups flour, plus 2 additional tbsp.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 cup lard
  • 2-3 tbsp. ice water
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • pinch of salt/pepper
  • 4-5 cups white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • dash each of hot pepper sauce and Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (white is preferred)
  • 4 ounces Asiago cheese, shaved
  • 2 cups pea shoots
  • white truffle oil, sprinkle only

In a mixing bowl combine the first three ingredients. Cut in the lard until it resenbles a coarse meal.

Add the ice water and mix until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit for about 5 minutes. Roll out the dough on a floured board to a 12 inch round and 1//4 inch. Fold the dough into quarters and place it on a 10 inch tart pan. Roll a rolling pin over the entire surface to remove the excess dough. Prick the bottom all over with a fork.

In a medium suace pan melt the butter, add onions, salt and pepper and saute for about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and saute for 4 minutes until they hahve wilted. Stir in the garlic and remove from the heat. Cool completely.

In a small bowl whisk together the cream annd eggs. Season with the hot pepper sauce, Worchestershire sauce and a pinch of salt and peppere. Mix well.

Pour the mushroom mixture into the pastry shell and sprinkle the cheese over. Bake until the center sets which should take about 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before slicing to serve.

In a bowl toss the pea shoots with the slightest drizzle of the truffle oil and garnish each slice with a pile of pea shoots.


Champs Fleury Cheese And Ham Melts

This is a wonderful quick lunch or even faster dinner when you don’t want to cook or don’t have the time. Yummy to say the least.

  • 4 Brioche Hamburger buns
  • 1/2 grated garlic clove (optional)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups Champs Fleury cheese, sliced thin or even grated
  • 1 cup chopped cooked ham
  • 2 cups sauteed mushrooms in 1/4 cup butter

Slice the buns in half and brush melted butter on the cut sides. If using garlic, sprinkle a bit of the grated garlic equally on the buns.

Place the buns on a cookie sheet and set in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Turn the pan around and bake 5 minutes more.

Combine the cheese and ham and spoon on each of 4 buns.  Now generously spoon the mushrooms over the top. Add more cheese on top and broil only until melted. Place the top side of the bun at an angle and watch the faces of those getting one.

If you can eat more than one, simply double the recipe. Darn,,,this has made me hungary.


Tropical Bun Sliders

I was reading this recipe over and immediately thought of Hawaii. It sounded so delicious I am going to share with you. Besides, it made me hungary.

  • 12 Hawaiian sweet buns, still intact 9 x 13″ baked form
  • 3/4 cup alfredo sauce, store bought jar
  • 12 slices of Black Forest Ham, thinly sliced
  • 1 – 14 oz. can crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 2 1/2 cups grated Tex Mex cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the buns from the package, keeping in tact, and slice horiontally . You will have tops all together and bottoms all together. Place the bun bottoms in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Spread the alfredo sauce over the bun bottoms, Layer on the ham slices, and spoon on the crushed pineapple, spreading to cover the buns.

Sprinkle the cheese on top of the pineapple and add the bun tops.

Melt together 1/4 cup butter, pinch of garlic powder and 1 tsp. brown sugar together. Brush over the tops of the buns. Cover with tin foil and bake for 30-35 minutes until the cheese has melted.

Now, to serve, with a very sharp knife, cut through each slider,making sure to cut completely through. Serve with a light salad, glass of wine and smile like you were really in Hawaii.

YUM! Note: These will not store well, so…eat them all up.

Grilled Cheese Gourmet Style And Salad

Grilled cheese must be comfort food at its best.  To take it up a notch, try this one. You will be a heroine for sure.


  • 1 tsp. liquid honey
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 thinly sliced apple
  • 12 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cheddar cheese,
  • artisanal bread, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. melted butter,

Brush each slice of the bread on the outside with the melted butter. Layer with the first layer of cheese, then the apple and avocado, another cheese layer, and topping with the 2nd slice of bread.

Heat a fry pan over medium heat and place a sandwich in the pan. Cook until it is golden and then turn over and repeat. This should take about 5 minutes.

Repeat this for each of the 4 sandwiches.


  • 2 cups baby mixed greens,
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pistachios
  •   1 green apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. fig balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Crisco oil
  • 1 tsp. liquid honey

Mix all together in a bowl and divide equally on 4 plates with the sandwiches.


A Very British Shrimp/Lobster Pie

We are always looking for something different to showcase when company comes. This is a really neat one because you make individual pies (easier than it sounds) and everyone think you are a wizard.


  • 2 1/2 lbs. trout
  • 1 1/2 lbs. medium size shrimp
  • 1 – 2 lb. lobster tail
  • 6 scallops, halved
  • 2 cups celery, ribs removed, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups white wine (sip for the cook)
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cups sliced white mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3./4 tsp. ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1-2 pkgs. puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg yolk for brushing
  • Cut the trout into 1 inch cubes, reserving the skin, bones and trimmings. Peel and clean the shrimp, reserving shells, slide skewer through length of lobster in shell and set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring 3/4 cup of water, fish skin, shells and bones, shrimp shells, celery, wine and bay leaves to a boil. Strain liquid through a sieve into a clean saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the shrimp and lobster, reduce heat, cover and simmer until shrimp turn pink (about 2 minutes). Using a slotted spoon remove the shrimp and continue cooking the lobster another 2 minutes.

Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and now remove the lobster from the shell, remove from the shell and cut into bite size pieces and add to the shrimp.

Return liquid to a boil, add the trout and simmer until the fish flakes when tested with a fork. This should take about 4 minutes, Using a slotted spoon, remove and transfer to the seafood bowl.

Pour the liquid into a measuring cup, adding water to make 2 1/4 cups.

In a saucepan melt the butter over a medium heat, add the onions and mushrooms, cooking until softened (6 minutes). Stir in the flour, ginger, salt, pepper and nutmeg and cook for one minute. Gradually whisk in the liquid, cooking until boiling and becomes thickened and slightly reduced – 6-8 minutes. Stir in the whipping cream and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add the parsley and thyme.

Brush the bottom and sides of 8 – 1 1/2 cup ramekins with butter. Evenly spoon the seafood into each one and top with the sauce to cover.

Roll out the puff pastry, cutting to fit each ramekin. Beat the egg yolk with a tsp. of water and brush over the puff pastry. Cut a slit in the top of each one. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the ramekins on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20 – 30 minutes until golden.

Plate and place a lemon wedge on side. Add a salad and warm roll.

What more could you ask for? Well, okay…. glass of chilled white wine would make this more than perfect.


Yippee! New Luncheon Ham and Egg Sandwich

Brown bag lunches are not a bad thing. Sometimes we just run out of ideas to make it less than drudgery. Give this a try. Yum!


  • 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. fresh dill
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • 4 x 4 inch baguettes
  • 4 oz. Provolone cheese
  • 4 oz. shaved ham (not slices)
  • Clausen pickle slices, drained
  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • salt and pepper

Mix together the yogurt, dill and milk. Spread this on both sides of the baguettes that have been split length-wise.

Place a slice of cheese in each one and then the shaved ham. Drain the pickle slices well and lay 1 or 2 in each sandwich. Now slice the eggs and spread over the ham. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Wrap in saran wrap to keep fresh.  This makes 4 sandwiches so adjust if you are only making 2. Add a piece of fresh fruit and you have a wonderful lunch without the calories you could have added with mayonnaise.


Sausage Dogs And Salsa Wraps

What a great way to serve ‘hot dogs’ from the barbecue, except you are using Italian sausages.


  • 4 Italian sausages (1 lb.)
  • 4 large whole wheat tortillas (healthy, right?)
  • 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Cut the sausages in half lengthwise BUT not all the way through. Open like a book.

On the barbecue, grill over a medium high heat, turning after 4 minutes and continue cooking until there is no pink inside.



  • 1/2 cup drained and rinsed canned black beans
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion (optional?)
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup canned whole kernals (or fresh if  you have any on hand)
  • 1/2 – 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 plum tomato, chopped
  • pinch salt and pepper

In a bowl, mix together the ingredients, except the cheese, and set aside.



Grill the tortillas, turning halfway through until showing grill marks (1 minute). Place a sausage on each tortilla, divide the salsa and cheese over the sausages. Fold the sides of the tortillas and roll up from the bottom.

If you want this to be crisp on the outside, grill the filled tortilla on one side, carefully turning over after 2 minutes, and grilling until the outside is crisp.


In a word..YUM!


Scallop Cakes With a Cilantro Mayonnaise

This is a wonderful light lunch for 4. Try it…on the patio in the early spring days with a couple of friends and a glass of chilled wine such as a Sav. Blanc.


  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. sea scallops
  • 1  1/2 cups panko crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. peeled ginger, grated
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 large lime
  • pinch of cumin
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise


Saute the onion in the olive oil until soft. Cool and then transfer to a food processor. Add the scallops, 1/2 cup panko crumbs, egg, cilantro, parsley, ginger and salt. Pulse until almost smooth, making sure there are still bits of scallop. Cover and chill until cold.

Put the remainder panko crumbs in a bowl. Scoop 1/3  cup of the scallop mixture in your hands and form into a ball and shape into a 2 1/2 inch round flat cake. Roll in the panko crumbs  and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat for the remaining mixture. (If making the day ahead, cover  and refrigerate).

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat peanut oil in a large skillet. Add two cakes at a time and cook until golden on both sides. Remove to the baking sheet. Repeat until all the cakes are done. Bake for about 7-8 minutes until cooked through.

Dollop two cakes per plate with the cilantro mayonnaise. Serve with steamed baby potatoes that have been drizzled with butter.


Cilantro Mayonnaise

  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • zest and juice from 1/2 large lime
  • pinch of ground cumin
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise (not salad dressing)


Combine all the ingredients in a blender and whirl until well blended.



Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich For One

When you are wanting a quiet night,  home from a busy day at work and want something that is quick and very tasty. Try this.

If you don’t make your own soups, grab a can to tomato soup (my fav is the Tomato Bisque) and carry on, cooking as per directions on the can.


  • 2 slices of bacon, cooked crisp (regular or baked  in maple syrup)
  • 2 slices of artisan bread (okay, regular bread)
  • 1 oz. grated provolone cheese (1/2 cup)

Take one slice of bread, layer one half the grated cheese, add the crisp bacon slices and top with the remaining cheese. Put top bread on.  Put in pan (either with the bacon fat or butter both outside layers of the bread). Place in frypan and cook until the cheese has melted and the bread is a lovely golden brown.

Pour a glass of wine, turn on the telly, ladle the soup in a bowl and plate your sadwich. Ahhhhh! What could be better?

Chicken Caesar Wraps

These make a great weekend lunch. Simple and everyone loves chicken caesar anything.


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp. lime juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 1/4 cup Asiago cheese, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Place all the ingredients into a food processor and puree until smooth. Chill until ready to use.

  • 12 chicken tenders
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 12 small tortillas
  • 12 romaine heart leaves, rinsed and dried
  • 12 bacon strips, cooked crisp
  • 1 pkg.  Provolone cheese, cut each one in 8 strips

Season the chicken and saute in a frypan over a medium high heat. Cook in the oil in 2 batches for 2 minutes each side.

Lay the lettuce leaves on each tortilla, add a chicken tender, 4 strips of cheese and a slice of bacon. Roll up tightly. Serve with the mayo by drizzling the mayo over the top and place the remainder in a bowl for dipping.


Hot Dogs With Pineapple And Bacon

I know I am not the only person on this planet that loves, yes I said LOVES, hotdogs. Here is a little different way to prepare them.

This will take about 6-7 minutes to make up and you can make a 6 of them.


  • 3/4 cup diced fresh pineapple (eyes removed and cored)
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 6 bacon slices, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 6 hot dogs, halved lengthwise
  • 6 slices havarti jalapeno cheese, halved
  • 6 hot dog rolls, sliced open along the top, not the side.

In a frypan, saute the pineapple in butter until starting to turn a light brown;  add the maple syrup and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Grill the hotdogs for a minute on each side and keep warm.

Place the cheese slices along the bun and warm until the cheese begins to melt, and then add the hot dog, and top with the pineapple and crumbled bacon. OMG! This is soooo tasty.