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.


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
  • 1/2 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.


Elegant Seafood Casserole For Company


If you are like us, we are always looking for different ways to impress guests at dinner and this is definitely one of them.  It looks fussy to make (but not) and the flavours of this dish are really and truly awesome.


You will need:

  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 pound of mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 – 10 oz. can chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 lb. lump crabmeat
  • 1/2 lb. medium shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lb. bay scallops, poached 3 – 3 1/2 minutes, drain well
  • 1 cup buttered panko crumbs
  • 8-10 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley, fine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Saute mushrooms in 2 tbsp. of melted butter. Drain and set aside.

In a medium skillet, melt 6 tbsp. butter and whisk in the flour, making a smooth roux. Add the broth and cream slowly, whisking all the while and cook until thickened.

Carefully combine the crabmeat, shrimp and scallops. In a 3 qt. casserole alternate layers of the seafood and mushrooms. Pour sauce over the layers, letting it seep to the bottom. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Top with the panko crumbs and sprinkle the cheese over the top.

Bake for 28-30 minutes or until bubbly. Just before serving, sprinkle the parsley over the top.  Serve with a cold salad, lime slices and either rice or buttered noodles and a glass of chilled white wine.


Summer Vegetable Pies

This might be one way for kids and adults who claim NOT to like vegetables, to eat them. It is very pretty to look at and the vegetables are not mushy in texture. A super summer dish.

  • 2 pie crusts (store bought is good)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. cold water
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, cut into a small dice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups Emmental cheese, grated
  • 1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb. baby carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (variety of colours is really pretty)
  • 1/2 lb. sugar snap peas, cut into 1/2  inch pieces
  • 8 small nugget potatoes, sliced in 1/8 inch pieces
  • 2 small zucchinis (1 green – 1 yellow), sliced in 1/8 inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb. cherry tomatoes, cut in 1/8 inch slices
  • pinch of salt and freshly grated black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the pie crusts to cover two 4 inch pie or tart pans. Cut each crust into 5 inch circles and place one circle in each pan. Confused? Never mind, keep going.

Using small cookie cutters, cut out about 18-20 shapes of your choice and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 tsp. of cold water. If using a pie plate, then take a small brush and brush the one side of the small cut outs and set around the pie plate edges for a pretty design. Fill the plates with baking weights. If using tart pans, just leave on parchment lined baking tray.

With a fork, prick the base of the pie crust and bake all for about 8-12 moments. Remove from the oven and remove the pie weights. Let cool.

In a medium sized fry pan, heat the olive oil and the onion and garlic, cooking until fragrant which could be 4-5 minutes. Divide into two and spread evenly over the base of the pie plates. Top this layer with the grated cheese.

Blanching Vegetables

Fill a bowl with ice water and set aside. Bring a large pot with water to the boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into the ice water to prevent further cooking. Remove and blot dry with a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining vegetables.

Now here is where you become creative. Line each vegetable up in rows over the cheese, making sure to reach the edges of the pie plates. Trim if necessary for a perfect fit.

Place in the oven and bake for 13-16 minutes until the cheese has all melted and the vegetables are heated through. This can be served hot or warm (room temperature).

Paired beautifully with a chilled Chardonnay.


Cantaloupe and Ham Tidbits

All you need here is a lovely fresh cantaloupe, ham and toothpicks. Let’s go…

  • Oil for the grill pan
  • 1/4 cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cut in wide 1 inch wedges
  • 4 thick slices parmesan focaccia bread, crusts removed, toasted and cut into quarters
  • 8 slices of a honey or black forest ham, cut in half lengthwise
  • 3 oz. camembert cheese, cut into 16 pieces
  • olive oil, freshly ground pepper for garnish

Lightly oil grill before preheating over high heat. Grill the melon until grill marks show (2-3 minutes). Remove to a cutting board and cut into 1 inch chunks.  That was the hard part.

To put this together, place the bread on a platter, top with pieces of ham, then the cantaloupe, and finally the cheese. Hold together with a fancy toothpick and drizzle a drop or two of oil on each one and sprinkle with black pepper.

Now, that wasn’t hard, was it? Enjoy, these are beautiful.


Little Frittata Bites

These are lovely little bites to serve during an afternoon with friends.

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. tarragon, chopped
  • 1 tsp. thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh peas
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 12 grape tomatoes, halved

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 24 cup, mini muffin tin and set aside.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil over a medium heat and add the onion, cooking until soft (5 minutes), stirring throughout. Stir in the garlic and cook another 1  1/2 minutes. Remove from the heat, adding the thyme, tarragon and peas, then set aside and let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together with the cheese, cooled pea mixture, salt and pepper until well mixed. Ladle into the prepared muffin, and top with a tomato half, cut side up. Bake for up to 15 minutes until puffed and set. Allow to cool in the pan for a couple of minutes before removing from the pan.

Arrange on a platter and serve warm. Make sure they have napkins.

Fresh Fig, Cheese and Brittle Crostinis

Now that we are finally settled in our beautiful condo, it is time to start entertaining and we started yesterday with our new neighbors. One of the easiest treats to serve would be something like this.


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 1/4 peeled and finely chopped pistachios
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed pink peppercorns
  • 4-5 fresh black figs, cut into 1/2 inch slices, crosswise
  • Cranberry and Pepper Boursin (my ultimate favourite cheese)
  • Fig Balsamic Vinegar
  • Crackers

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat the sugar and water in a small pan and, without stirring, until it turns a light amber (about 4-6 minutes).

Remove from the heat and add the chopped pistachios. Quickly pour out on the parchment paper making sure to spread it out as thinly as possible. Let cool until it is very firm. Finely chop and set aside.

Arrange the crackers on your best plate, each with a slice of fig, topped with a generous amount of the cheese. Drizzle the cheese with the balsamic vinegar and now sprinkle on the brittle with a pinch of the peppercorns.

Serve with napkins and a glass of your favourite…. chilled, of course. Please take note of this and be prepared as there won’t be a crumb left, I promise you. This still makes my mouth drool. Yum!

Reuben Meat Loaf

This is the recipe you want when your family becomes tired of the same old, same old recipe you always use. It captures all the flavours of the Reuben sandwich everyone loves.

  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. thick Teriyaki sauce
  • 2 cups soft bread crumbs
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 can sauerkraut (8 0z) rinsed well and thoroughly drained
  • 4 – 5 oz. pastrami (deli cut) chopped
  • 1 cup  Swiss Cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. prepared mustard (yellow or grainy)

In a large bowl, mix together the ketchup, teriyaki sauce, egg, salt and bread crumbs. Crumble the ground beef into the crumbs and mix well.

In another bowl, mix together the sauerkraut, pastrami, sour cream and mustard.

Press one third (approx.) of the meat into a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan that has been prepared by using Pam spray.

Top with one half of the pastrami. Repeat the layers, finishing with the last of the meat.

In a preheated oven of 350 degrees, bake for one hour. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.


Serve with perfectly mashed potatoes,  chilled salad and warm rolls. What a night! Damn, you did this….AGAIN!




Cheese Biscuits With A Bite

If there was one major draw back for me (and my waistline is proof)  it would be a great biscuit. To me it is like biting into a cloud, so I am going to share this with you. See? I’m so ….uh, don’t finish that statement.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 cup shortening, cold
  • 3/4 cup milk (approx.)
  • 1 cup grated cheese (yellow or white cheddar)
  • 3-4 drops of hot sauce
  • egg wash

Mix the dry ingredients and cut in the shortening until pea size crumbs.

Add the hot sauce to the milk and now add most of the milk, stir to mix (do not over mix). If needed, add a bit more milk to make a soft dough. Stir in the cheese.

Knead on a floured surface 10-12 times.

Form into a large ball and pat lightly out to make a ball that is 1/2 inch thick.

With a floured cutter, cut into triangles and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with the egg wash and bake for about 12-15 minutes until golden brown on top.

Serve warm with butter and a pot of fresh coffee. Invite a friend over to share….or not!

Chicken Enchiladas With A Poblano And Spinach Cream

You don’t have to buy the frozen enchiladas when you can make something as tasty as these.


  • 2 fresh poblano peppers
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 6 tbsp. butter, not margarine
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups coarsely shredded cooked roast chicken
  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Roast the peppers over open flame for about 5 minutes, turning often until the skins have blistered and blackened on all sides OR lay them on a baking sheet 4 inches below the broiler (8-10 minutes) also turning on all sides. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to allow them to steam. When cool enough, peel off the black outer skin and seeds. Chop the flesh coarsely and add to a blender. Add the fresh spinach and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9 x 13 baking dish and set aside. In a medium sized saucepan, add the milk and stock and warm up. In a large saucepan melt the butter, add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Now raise the heat and add the milk mixture, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil and reduce the temperature and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Pour half of the mixture into the blender and process until smooth. Pour this back into the saucepan with the remaining sauce. If needed, season with a little salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a bowl and stir in one cup of the sauce. Divided the chicken equally in the tortillas and roll up.

Place these in the baking dish, seam side down. Pour the remaining sauce over all and top with the shredded cheese. Bake until the enchiladas are heated through and the cheese has melted. (18-20 minutes).

Serve immediately with a crisp salad, glass of chilled white wine and the world is yours for the ‘eating’.


Grape Panzanella Salad

This is a lovely yet light salad.  Great for getting back on track.


  • 4 slices Italian bread
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • ground fresh pepper
  • 1 cup green seedless grapes, halved
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes, cut in half
  • pint of multi- coloured cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 log of goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush 4 x 1  inch slices of day old Italian Bread with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake until toasted, turning over once. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Cut a garlic clove in half and rub the cut side on the toasted bread. Chop the bread into bite-size pieces. When done, it should measure about 5 cups.

Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar with the honey in a large bowl. Season with a sprinkle of ground pepper.  Add the grapes and tomatoes, tossing to coat.

Divide the bread cubes onto 4 salad plates. Spoon out the grape mixture over the bread, Sprinkle the goat cheese over the top along with the basil and toasted pecans.

This is delightful.

Fruit and Cheese Dressing For Your Turkey

Everyone has a favourite dressing for the fabulous Christmas Turkey that graces the table. This one is just a little different and is fabulous tasting. If you are in doubt, try it on a large chicken…well it is just a suggestion…..okay, I’m kidding!


  • 2 leeks, cut in half, rinsed well and sliced
  • 1 cup celery, ribs removed and thinly cut
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. dried cloves
  • 8 cups dry bread crumbs
  • 2 large firm pears, cored, sliced in wedges
  • 1/2 cup crisp bacon, chopped
  • 2 small oranges or 1 large, segmented using only the flesh
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large skillet, cook the leeks and celery in butter until tender (about 5-6 minutes). Stir in the pepper and cloves.

Put this in a large bowl and stir to mix together. Drizzle in the chicken broth and toss to combine. Stir in the cheese.

Grease a 3 quart casserole dish with butter and transfer the ingredients. Bake, covered for 50-55 minutes until cooked through.

**If you are using a 12-14 lb. turkey,  you can simply stuff the turkey and bake it.


Enjoy and Merry Christmas.