Healthy Soul Archives

December 31st, 2011

December 31st, 2011

Midnight Martini

December 28th, 2011

During the winter months, soup is pretty much a staple at our house.  At the beginning of the week I love to cook up a big pot of soup to get us through the week.  With leftovers around, that is the perfect excuse to through everything into the pot.

Yesterday I cooked up an ‘Earthy Winter Root Vegetable’ soup.  Full of root vegetables, cumin, curry and lots of spices and herbs, this deliciously hearty soup will surely stick to your bones.

December 22nd, 2011

Well, it’s almost that time of the year again…and of course, I wanted to conncoct a new Christmas martini.  I looked around for a different liquor, something that I don’t usually buy, and I cam up with this delicious new martini!

Festive looking and ohhhh so tasty!

‘Cinnamon Gold Flake Martini’

                                 

Decided on giving our favorite ‘Bits & Bites’ a spicy Island kick to them….so added some jerk spice to the recipe!  Simply delicious ~~

   Jamaica Here We Come  🙂

November 15, 2011

Well, it’s that time of the year again, ‘Our home away from home’, Jamaica calls us back once again.  It’s been a busy year but with the land of Jamaica in our sites, you can rest assured it will be another vacation to remember.

This past month has been busy, moving into our new home.  I love my new kitchen, and it now has an island to work on.

I have been cooking up some yummy dishes….but with unpacking, I have found little time to put up any recipes, so my blog has taken a back seat to everything that has been going on.  I will try to post more recipes in the New Year…but this dish last night, cooked up with left over sirloin tip roast was simply fabulous. Sorry…no recipe, it was just a little bit of this….and lots of that! 🙂

‘Beef Burgundy with Red Wine and Raisins…’

October 31st

Well I have been missing in action lately, but with a move into our new home, things have been hectic and the food blog has been put on the back burner…lol ( no pun intended )

I have still been cooking up some delightful creations… and this Mango Shrimp Rum recipe was delicious…

October 3rd, 2011

WOW…We reached 30,000 HITS TODAY!!!! Thanks all 🙂

Just want to take the time to thank you for all the views and comments on my blog, as we have now surpassed 30 thousand views and hits since it’s inception 2 years ago. What started out as some fun posting on Negril.com message board with friends and boardies sharing photos and recipes, has turned into an equally enjoyable hobby and passion.

Photography and capturing just that perfect photo of a meal, or a drink inspires me to concoct and try new & interesting recipes, which in turn, I love to share with everyone.

Take any recipe and tweak it to your liking and that is how we all become better cooks. I must admit, I really don’t like to follow recipe instructions, therefore it’s a challenge to keep track of what goes in….so I can share my results.

It’s all for the love of food and photography. Feel free to sign up and get new and exciting dishes as they come along, and please share your results; what you liked or needed to change. I truly enjoy the feedback and will answer every e-mail.

Thanks again for following and supporting me on this journey… Cheers to you my friends! 🙂

Pineapple Fizzzzzz Martini

September 12th, 2011

One of the things I love about September, is getting into some dishes that we haven’t had all summer. Even though the weather is warm and sunny for the past few days, it’s obvious from the cooler mornings that autumn is on it’s way.

We are big fans of lamb….and this dish is simply one of my new favs!! Shanks are a reasonably price, so it’s an affordable lamb alternative. I personally love tomato based sauces, and when you add some of your favourite red wine into the mix….look out! lol…

It’s truly a comforting dish with wild and delightful flavours and aromas.

September 8, 2011

The weather can go one way or the other in September, with some cooler days sprinkled with nice warm, sunny days. It’s a mixed bag. Yesterday was on the cooler side, so I decided on using up some of the vegetables in my crisper and I had a nice looking buttercup squash waiting to be eaten.

It seemed a nice warm soup was in order, and with some spinach and basil that wasn’t going to last much longer I decided to throw it all in.

‘Creamy Curry Butternut Squash Soup’ turned out ohhhh sooooo good. I am not a big fan of puree soups, so I don’t use the blender for my soup. Cooking the soup long enough, gives the soup a wonderful texture with a subtle hint of curry, not overpowering….it is quite well suited for any palate.

The real beauty of this soup is in the gorgeous warm, earthy colours and tones, but the flavour stands alone and can’t be beat.

Happy Labour Day

With todays holiday, comes the beginning of another season. Autumn is upon us, children return to school, and summer vacations come to an end. Those hazy, relaxing, carefree days of the summer are almost over.

Jamaica….is what is on my mind at this time of the year. When summer is over, we plan for our yearly November reach to the island we so love. We will talk about that in the posts to come 🙂

Today we decided on a different type of breakfast, and with left over petite roast potatoes, this recipe looked ohhhh sooooo yummy. I always like to tweak the recipes to our liking, bit more of the spices and herbs we like, and less of some things. That is what cooking is all about. Use your imagination with a recipe..and make it your own. 🙂

Labour Day ‘Hodge Podge Breakfast Bake’

** See the posted recipe

August 31st

Well folks…it’s the last day of August and it’s that time of the year when another season change will soon be upon us. The days are still filled with sunshine and warm temps, but you can just feel it it the air…fall is just around the corner.

This is a great time of the year for ‘Harvest Vegetables’ and the stores are lined with fresh local produce at great prices. Just yesterday I filled a bag with carrots, beets, green beans, squash…just to name a few. It’s time to eat “Lean & Clean” after months of barbecuing and lots of fatty foods…but they sure tasted good!

I just posted a wonderful salad for the season… “Roasted Harvest Spinach Salad”

August 22, 2011

When the end of August rolls around, it’s a time for kids to return to school, ( been there…done that ) but it’s also a time to regroup and look towards the fall. For us, we start to book and plan our annual November reach to Jamaica.

Autumn also conjures up favourite fall recipes, a nice change from barbecuing, and a big pot of soup is just one of those. It’s still hot and humid in the Maritimes but when I am a bit under the weather with a cold, soup is the answer.

I decided to cook up with this delicious ‘Coconut Curry Chicken Soup with Basil’ …just what the Doctor would have ordered, to nurse myself back to health! 🙂

Packed full with ginger, garlic, cumin, basil, coconut milk and lots of fresh herbs and veggies!! Mmmmmmmm

August 5th, 2011

Summertime ~ Summertime

It’s been quite sometime since I have posted in my blog…but don’t think for one moment that I haven’t been cooking up exciting and tasty foods in my kitchen.

With the abundance of seafood in our area, it’s a challenge coming up with new and fun recipes incorporating the fresh abundance of the daily catch.

My Martime Style Couquille St. Jacques filled with shrimp and scallops baked in a bubbly garlic cheese sauce….

Also these Apple Shrimp Brushetta Bites…are a great summer appetizer…

We usually love to steam mussels, but these fresh clams have a sweet taste all their own. Steamed and served in a sweet pepper garlic wine with fresh herbs.

We picked up these shells in Digby NS, the home of the best scallops in the Maritimes. This delightful dish is ‘Seared Scallops in a Mango Guava Rum Sauce’ 🙂

Have a safe and healthly August !

Beaches & Backroads ~ Vineyards and Vistas

From time to time over the summer, I will be posting exciting and tasty foods as we travel throughout Atlantic Canada. From the ocean to the plate, the delicious foods of the coast of Nova Scotia and PEI are hard to beat. Fresh lobster, clams, mussels, oysters, scallops, crab, and fresh fish of the day is what Atlantic Canada is all about. We will visit new vineyards and taste some delicious new East coast wines, along with some fabulous new cheeses from the area.

Stay tuned for new food photos to come 🙂

Summer Hiatus

It’s time for a bit of a break from food blogging, but I really want to take a moment and thank you all for your inspiring words on my recipes and photos. Also, an extra special thank you for those who took the time to comment and post directly on my blog. Without feedback, it’s difficult to know how the recipes are being received.

Food blogging is a labour of love, but like everything else…sometimes we just need to take a break, sit back and smell the blue mountain coffee. 🙂

Please feel free to peruse my blog…check out my recipes and don’t hesitate to comment or e-mail me at anytime. I will continue to post food photos shots for you to feast your eyes on.

Thanks for your on going support….See ya again soon!

I’ll leave you with a couple of great dishes from the weekend….’Plank Salmon and Stuffed Crab Backs and Steamed Clams’

May 15th

What would warm your soul and bring back tastes and memories of Jamaica?

Well, it’s my favorite island spice! Jerk spice!!

It’s still rainy, dull and dreary, but with left over steak from the weekend, I decided on warm and spicy ‘Jerk Beef Wraps’….what a great choice that was.

Whole grain wraps filled with peppers, onions, mushrooms and spices topped with sour cream and cheese….these wraps were heavenly.

May 14th

The weather seems to be the topic of discussion everywhere you go. With dull and dreary skies, it certainly doesn’t inspire one to get into spring barbecuing.

Last week I made this delightful dish with shrimp and peanut butter. What a combo! The dish was creamy, with a wonderful blend of peanut butter, sweet peppers and sliced carrots.

Happy Mother’s Day

What a wonderful weekend, not just one day….filled with family, love and great food!

It’s been all about delicious seafood! From steamed mussels, to lobster with homemade potato salad, lobster rolls, and fried clams….it’s been simply scruptous!

I did concoct a new martini for Mother’s Day….in honour of all the hard-working, dedicated and loving mothers. On Thursday, I received a gift from ‘Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum’ ….and when I opened the package, I was pleasantly surprised with lovely embossed drink coasters. 🙂

Thanks Appleton…here is the newly inspired martini…

‘Island Rum Spice Martini’

I hope every mother enjoyed their day!

April 29th

We’re finally at the end of April, spring has sprung with warm days and cool days, and a mixed bag of weather. Hopefully May flowers will be popping up everywhere and the warmer temps will soon be here.

We got a really nice day on Friday and decided on barbecueing. Hubby is fabulous when it comes to this, the steaks are always perfectly cooked.

Started out with some ‘Peppered Shrimp’ and then followed up with the thickest and juiciest sterling sliver steks we could find. This recipe with Appleton Rum, Blue Cheese and Mushrooms was to die for…..MMMmmmmmmm

“Blue Cheese Rum Seared Prime Rib Medallions”…..

April 23rd

Happy Easter Weekend all….. 🙂

It’s Saturday and the sun is shining and it really feels like spring finally. With Easter lilies on the table, it’s a time for blessings and giving thanks. Looking forward to seeing family….and enjoying a wonderful Easter weekend.

This was a fresh and tasty appetizer from the other night….succulent colassal fresh water shrimp sauted in lemon pepper. Yummmmmmm.. 🙂

April 19th

This fun and tasty dish was inspired by a couple we know, who spend their winters in Negril Jamaica. With a Jamaican handle like ‘Mango’ and his lovely companion ‘Sheri’, these two main ingredients were the stars of this great curry chicken stir fry.

A nice blend of herbs and fresh veggies, this dish bursts with delightful Caribbean flavours. Adding the sherry brings this dish to life! Sweet and tangy, with the aroma of warm curry and ginger….it’s sure to tantilize your taste buds!

April 12th

Spring is in the air, but yesterday was overcast with rain later in the day. It was a perfect day for soup, so I picked up a pork hock and some mixed beans and decided on a savory, hearty soup for supper.

What a great choice….D E L I C I O U S….. 🙂

April 11th

Hello fellow foodies!

It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to post, let along cook anything exciting,,,as I have been in full Gramma mode for the past 9 days. It’s certainly been a long time since I took care of an infant and worked….but it brought back a lot of fond memories. So my week was filled with bottles, diaper changes, playing with toys….and just generally being a good Grammie!

Yesterday however, was our first nice spring-like day…and time to cook again. Delicious cuccumber and tomato brusetta bites, a lovely bottle of chardonnay and some big juicy steaks on the barbie….

It’s nice to be back in the adult world!! 🙂

March 31

It’s always a challenge to find ways to cook chicken breasts. This is a great way to dress em’ up with a delicious seafood and cream cheese filling stuffed into the chicken breast. The zesty flavours of lemon and the tangy taste of dijon mustard…..make this a delight to serve! Try a tart cranberry chutney on the side. 🙂

Shirmp and Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken

March 26th

The Jamaicans have the monopoly on wonderful ‘Curried Goat’ recipes, but after lots of dishes under my belt, and lamb being our meat of choice, (goat unavailable ), I have perfected this dish to our liking. While googling new ideas and recipes today, I came upon a recipe similar recipe to mine ….and it happened to be from Jamaica. Mandeville Lamb Curry, from a lovely town on the south coast of Jamaica.

Today’s fabulous curry lamb dish exudes sweet flavours of coconut, subtle tastes of Jamaican curry…with a hint of lime, ginger and fresh herbs. Ohhhhh…so good!

We aptly named our dish…’Old Goats’ Lamb Curry

March 19th ~~~ SUPERMOON ~~

March 17th

Well, with St. Patrick’s Day behind us now….it’s time to move into spring and soon some barbecuing weather. Yesterday I cooked up a traditional Irish meal of ‘Corned Beef and Cabbage’. I don’t have any recipe to share, as I didn’t follow one. I covered the brisket in a mustard sauce, allspice, cloves, pepper and brown sugar and baked it in beer.

Served up with steamed cabbage, carrots, onions and red potatoes, this dish is certainly a comfort food that warms the soul.

It turned out pretty good, but there are things that I would do differently next time. Many recipes say to boil the meat, others say oven baked works well, so I did a combination of the two. 🙂

March14th

Bring the flavours and tastes of the island of Jamaica into your home with this fresh and exotic soup.

Curry from Jamaica, along with fresh sliced mango, this soup bursts with the flavours of curry, all spice and succulent mango pieces. A great blend of veggies and fruit, along with the wonderful texture of fresh water shrimp, it’s a soup to serve as an appetizer or a main entree.

March 12th

I was excited when my new Jamaican Eats magazine arrived today….and I could browse through the wonderful recipes and fabulous photos. This is a top notch magazine filled with interesting dishes that are easy to re-create or just as as easy to try and tweak to your liking.

I was surprised to find my recipe for Jamaican Mango Curry Chicken with Ginger gracing yet another edition! I wasn’t even aware that it was going to be in there. So….as you can well imagine, I was tickled to see my name mentioned in the ‘Editors Note’ column, as one of their faithful readers and subscribers.

Jamaican Curried Mango Chicken with Ginger …..Page 12 under Current Editions

mangochicken3

March 11th

Just love weekends when my husband and I can cook together and create some scrumptous meals. I decided on this appetizer…. ‘Escargot Stuffed Mushroom Caps’, after having then a few weeks ago at the Keg in Toronto after returning from Jamaica. The server told us that they make their garlic butter sauce with a touch of curry…and I was eager to re-create them.

We weren’t disappointed….

March 10th

Sometimes dinner for one needs to be quick and easy….but when you have lots of veggies in the crisper, they do have to be used up in a timely fashion. I picked up some panini bread and created a fabulous veggie delight!

I also picked up a new ‘Japanese Ginger & Onion Marinade’…that sounded yummy. I packed the panini full of yellow zucchini, sliced red onion, mushrooms, sweet peppers, cuccumber, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and spinach and grilled it!!

The flavours with wonderful, along with some melted blue cheese…it was simply scrumptous! 🙂

March 9th

I love roasting vegetables on the grill in the summertime, so in the winter months, I try to recreate the grilling in the oven ad under the broiler. Peppers, mushrooms and garlic… roasted in light virgin olive oil, are a wonderful addition to a gourmet chicken salad…or for that matter, served on the side with grilled fish. Your choice….but tonight I went with the chicken salad route. 🙂

The night before we had a roasted chicken, so I built the salad around that. Spinach, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, crisp bacon, fresh basil along with the lovely roasted veggies….all topped with a warm curry mango dressing. 🙂 Yummmmm

Roasted Sweet Pepper, Mushroom & Garlic Salad

February 27th

Well, Saturday was suppose to be our night for fish….but that didn’t happen. It’s not very often we opt for take out pizza, just never what you expect when it arrives, but it was easy and did the trick.

Today I learned the difference between ‘spanish and king’ mackerel. The Spanish mackerel is much smaller than its relative, the king mackerel, averaging only 2 to 3 pounds in weight. Spanish mackerel are greenish dorsally with silver sides and belly. Yellow or olive oval spots traverse the body, which is covered with very tiny scales.

After cleaning the fish, it was time to cook up the good-sized spanish mackerel. I usually stuff and bake whole fish, but I was looking for something a bit different this time, so I decided on a Creole style oven bake. I had lots of fresh veggies and a jar of tomato sauce, garlic and fresh herbs….so that is what I went with.

It was wonderful….flaky and cooked to perfection. The tomato garlic sauce cooked with white wine, complimented the fresh fish with a side of rice and peas and brussel sprouts.

I will post the recipe tomorrow…. 🙂

February 26th

It’s just another snowy day in Eastern Canada…. but we got through yet another major blizzard. The snow banks are at least 8 feet high or more in some places….and we are just running out of places to put the snow.

We hit the grocery early yesterday before the rush….stocked up on our supplies and rode out the storm with great food and drinks. I came up with this delicious appetizer with plump fresh scallops….you should give it a try! For our entree we decided to stick with the rum theme….and cooked up some ‘Rum Island Ribs’….and some jerk chicken wings.

‘Mandarin Rum Seared Scallops’

Sprats Rum Island Barbecue Style Ribs

https://jsprat.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/sprats-rum-island-barbecued-style-ribs/

February 20th

Well….it seems like it’s been forever since I have posted on my food blog, I guess I have been kind of missing in action…but of course, I have a good excuse. Again, visiting our ‘home away from home’ Negril Jamaica, and this past trip couldn’t have been any better. Lots of sunshine, good friends, good food….and just some R & R.

My days were filled with sun, swims and photography…of the land I love…..

Tonight, I had a hankering from some shrimp….and I wasn’t sure how I wanted to cook it. I had some chili sauce, sour cream….garlic, green onion and celery and lots of mozza cheese. I came up with this scrumptous, tangy dish.

‘Sweet Chili Shrimp Bake’ served with Vegetable Couscous…

.

This weekend we cooked up some Jamaican brown stewed chicken…always a fabulous ‘stick to the bones’ type of meal and always a good choice after lots of Jamaican cooking.

January 27h

With another snow storm today in Atlantic Canada…..what’s a person to do? We are snowed in….plows are out in full force and the City has come to a standstill.

So…today seems like as good a day as any to put the oven on and cook up some good ol’ fashioned comfort food. The first thing that comes to mind….is meatloaf. I love a good meatloaf, but it’s always nice to try new things and put a twist on the traditional recipes.

After looking through the refrigerator, I decided on a spicy and tangy…

‘Italian Chilli Style Meatloaf’….yummmmmmm

January 22nd

After cooking up a wonderful shrimp soup a couple of days ago, and having left over cooked sole fillets to finish up, I decided that with -25C temps, freezing to the bone kind of weather, that another soup was in order.

‘Fish Chowder’ …is a “Stick to your bones, kind of Soup for the soul…! You would most probably agree if you tasted it 🙂

January 21st

Sometimes it’s just nice having a night of finger foods and appetizers. With some colossal fresh water shrimp in the freezer and a baquette that we need to finish up, we decide on an easy supper.

Blue Cheese & Olive Brushetta’ and Pesto Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

January 19th

January is most definitely the month for cleansing the soul, flushing the body and filling the refrigerator with colourful vegetables and fresh fish. I love perusing the seafood counter for nice fillets or fish steaks or whole fish….just depending on what’s available.

It’s a great time to cut back on those ohhhh…soooo fatty foods that we all consumed over the holidays, and serve up some easy dishes that are appealing to the eye and taste so great.

These soles fillets are a great way to enjoy a ‘gourmet looking’ dish during the week.

‘Almond and Pest Sole Fillets’

January 18th

With a zucchini in the fridge, and after seeing a picture in Oprah’s new magazine, I decided I wanted to given them a try. I am a big fan of crab cakes and decided to whip up some ‘Zucchini Fritters’. I added some of my own ingredients and came up with these.

They are quick and easy, but I think next time I would add the crab to them for a zestier bite! Serve the fritters with a nice dipping sauce of your choice….then top with a spoonful of horseradish and enjoy!

January 16th

Another weekend, come and gone…….
Friday night is pretty much always steak night, it’s been a traditional…or shall I say a habit for quite a few years now. After a long week, it’s just great to cook up a thick juicy steak, with the fixin’s and a nice bottle of red wine.

Here’s a little taste …..mmmmmmm

Last night we got a bit more creative and purchased two utility chickens on sale….so we decided on a ‘Curry Coconut Chicken bake’. Curry chicken is a fav of ours in Jamaica, but we tend to stir it to much on top of the stove…so into the oven it goes, so we can mash it all up….lol

Voila….

January 14th

It’s a storm day in Eastern Canada, and I have already done my fair share of shoveling…so no need for the gym today. It’s a winter wonderland outside but a beautiful site to be behold. Trees laden down with heavy mounds of snow, and huge long icicles hanging from the houses.

It all started last evening while I was deciding on what to prepare for supper. I had purchased 4 green peppers on sale, so I knew that I had to use them before they went bad. I had frozen shrimp in the freezer and canned shrimp…..so that is all I needed to create a nice dinner for one.

‘Chilli Peppa Shrimp’…

January 10th

The month continues with fresh vegetables and fish…and delicious meals. I’m always trying to come up with new and exciting ways to serve fish….which is not always easy. Salads….are making their way onto our plates in a big way, and my hubby is loving them…especially the greek salad we had this weekend.

‘Mediteranean Feta Salmon with Greek Salad’

January 6th

Well, it’s the new year and time for some long over-due healthy eating. A cleansing of the soul…of sorts, lots of water, fresh fruits and vegetables and some easy and fun recipes to begin the year off right.

Tonight’s easy fish dish is sooooo easy, that even if you don’t consider yourself a cook, you could pull this one off. It’s impressive looking on a plate and very pleasing to the palate. A great way to switch up serving fish fillets.

‘Blue Cheese & Pear Haddock Roll Ups’ stuffed with blue cheese, spinach and black forest ham. Drizzled and baked with a pear & blue cheese vinegarette.

Last evening I created a nice dish…baking with parchment paper…which I love. So easy and it turns out chicken that is so moist.

‘Honey Dijon Chicken with Sweet Peppers’

Happy New Year to All

Out with the old and in with the new….nothing like a fresh start 🙂

Cheers and all the best to my family, friends and fellow bloggers….

New Year’s Day was relaxing and we spent the day kicking back and preparing for a nice Lobster and Steak feast, Colorado style.

This wonderful plate is served with Peter’s Blue Seafood Casserole topped over a juicy piece of beef tenderloin wrapped in bacon. Add a steamed lobster and fresh cheese baquette drizzled in garlic butter….and there you have the makin’s of a feast for two.

Serve with a bottle of Ultimate Merlot…. 🙂

3 Comments Add yours

  1. doctoro says:

    One love and Happy Holidays

    Looking at Peter’s seafood casserole and drolling. I have to try this one soon.

    I knew you had created something wonderful for your New Year’s eve dinner.

    O

  2. Sprat says:

    thanks doctoro….and same to you.

    The casserole is fabulous… been around for over 30 years in our house and everyone loves it.

    We had that over Christmas and with our Seafood benedict on Christmas day. 🙂

    Jah Bless….

  3. jediSwiftPirate says:

    holy crap i most definitly love BACON!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s