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Blog Archives

Strawberry & Avocado Spinach Salad in Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

A truly summer salad! If you are not into making your own dressings, buy a similar raspberry balsamic one at the store. This salad both looks and tastes great!!

Strawberry and Avocado Spinach Salad in Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes Servings: 2

ingredients
• 1 (5 ounce) package baby spinach
• 2 cups strawberries, sliced
• 1 avocado, diced
• 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
• 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
• 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
• 1/4 cup raspberry white balsamic vinaigrette (* see below)
directions
1. Assemble salad, toss in dressing and enjoy!

Option: Goat cheese or feta also work well in place of the blue cheese.
Option: I like to throw in some fresh peas when available in spring.

  • Raspberry White Balsamic Vinaigrette
    Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 5 minutes Servings: 1cup

ingredients
• 1/2 cup raspberries fresh (or thawed frozen)
• 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon honey
• 1 large clove garlic, minced
• salt and pepper to taste
1. Mash the raspberries and mix everything. 2. Pour over your favourite summer salad…

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Jill’s Cheese Ball

This recipe was always a staple at Christmas or New Year’s. Unfortunately, the McLaren’s Imperial Cheese is found in Canada, but not in the US or Mexico. You can substitute it with another type of processed cheddar spread, like Alouette in Mexico. You can also use a blue cheese spread if you do not have real blue cheese available.

Jill’s Cheese Ball

8 ounces softened Philadelphia cream cheese

8 ounces McLaren’s Imperial Cheese (or another brand)

4 ounces blue cheese

2 Tablespoons grated onions and juice

chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients together and whip with an electric mixer. Roll into a ball or a log and wrap in waxed paper. Chill for 2 to 4 hours in refrigerator. When chilled, roll in chopped pecans. Refrigerate until ready to be served. Allow to warm up briefly.

Serve with your favourite crackers.

Spring Rack of Lamb (GREAT for New Year’s Eve)

I know it is not spring, but this is the usual Christmas Eve dinner for Larry and I. Visit your friendly Costco for the rack of lamb. Our dinner is usually preceded by escargot in garlic and butter, with a touch of Black Sambucca liqueur to which we also add some crumbled blue cheese. Ok…we are blue cheese freaks! Our racks come with six bones and if we are hungry we each eat three (depending on how many escargots we have already eaten). The italicized remarks are mine…

The size of the eye of the meat will alter the time it takes to roast the chops. The thicker the eye, the longer it will take. In general, the rule of thumb is 15 minutes to the inch (2.5-cm).
1 rack of New Zealand lamb
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil

Marinade
2 tbsp (25 mL) grainy mustard
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped garlic
¼ cup (50 mL) olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Crumbled blue cheese if you like that….I find it incredible when just drizzled over the lamb when served!

1. Season racks with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat and add racks, fat-side down. Sear until golden, about 2 minutes. Pick up the racks with tongs and sear the back and each end as well. Place on baking sheet.

2. For marinade, combine mustard, rosemary, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread over racks, including bones. Marinate for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 450ºF (230ºC).

4. Bake racks for 12 to 15 minutes or until medium rare. Let sit for 5 minutes before carving down into chops. Serve 4 chops per person.

Sprinkle on the crumbled blue cheese!!!

Serves 4

 I like to serve it with baby whole potatoes and fried asparagus….