Saganaki literally means little pan and refers to the pan the flaming cheese is served in. Saganaki can be made with several kids of cheeses. You can use Kefalotyri, Kasseri or Haloumi cheeses.  It is dipped in flour and fried then either Brandy (Metaxa) or Ouzo is poured over it and lit. In my version I also pour a simple lemon sauce over it to finish. Serve it hot and melted. Crazy yummy. 
You will need:
  • some wedges or squares of cheese (kefalotyri, kasseri or haloumi)
  • flour for dredging
  • salt/ pepper
  • 2 lemons
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • oil for frying
  • 3-4 tbsp brandy (Metaxa) or Ouzo 
Lemon Sauce
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/2 a stick of butter (1/4 cup- 4 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
Sometimes this cheese is labelled as Saganaki instead of the name of the cheese in the store.
Step 1: either cut the cheese into triangles or cook it in one piece. Dip the cheese in water and then into flour to form a coating.
Step 2: make the sauce in a small saucepan. Add chicken broth and reduce on medium until reduced by half. It will take about 15 minutes to reduce. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and then finally the butter and parsley. Whisk until forms a lemon sauce. Set aside until cheese is fried and flamed.
Step 3: in a pan with the oil very hot quickly fry the cheese for approximately 2 minutes on each side until browned. Remove and blot on paper towel and quickly take off paper towels or they will stick.
Step 4: heat another pan and once hot remove from burner and add cheese and a few tbsp of brandy or ouzo and light with a long lighter. Once the flame has burned off serve immediately with some of the lemon sauce spooned over top.

Potato Latkes

What’s not to like? They are fried little hash browned potatoes served with apple sauce or add them to your favourite breakfast. 
You will need:
  • 2 russet/baking potatoes
  • 1 small onion (or half a regular sized onion)
  • 1 egg
  • salt/pepper
  • grape seed or vegetable oil for frying
  • applesauce or sour cream
Step 1: peel and grate your potatoes into some cold water. Leave them in the cold water 2-3 minutes to remove some of the starch.
Step 2: grate the onion. Take the onions and the drained potatoes and roll in a towel squeezing out as much of the water as you can.
Step 3: in a bowl add the potatoes, the onion, egg, salt and pepper (be generous but, you can always add salt and pepper again once they are fried)
Step 4: stir potatoes and eggs until combined. Heat oil until it sizzles when you put in a test piece of potato. Hot oil makes them less greasy because they will fry properly. I like these little so I take a handful and squeeze out the liquid again in my hands before piling in a mound in the oil. You will think they will never stick together but they will. I leave them alone until brown around the edges then I flip them and then I flatten them with the spatula. If you fuss with them too much they just fall apart.
Step 5: Once they are almost done I remove them and place them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper. When they are all fried I pop them in a 350 degree F oven to crisp up and all be ready at once.
Eat them crispy and hot with applesauce (I made mine buy cooking apples and sugar and cinnamon until soft) or you can serve them with sour cream.

Raspberry Banana Smoothie

This is a great snack. I have added some fibre, fruit and yogurt to make a cool delicious treat. I like to add whatever fruit is in the smoothie directly on the straw. This is like having an additional fruit kebab in the drink. Kids will love this! You can use bananas, strawberries, kiwi etc..
You will need:
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 banana (mine was frozen)
  • 1 cup Almond Coconut Milk (use any kind you like)
  • 1 tsp fibre mix such as ground flax 
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup ice if you want it slushy and cold
Step 1: put all your ingredients in a blender. You can add ice to make is slushy. You can create any combination of fruit, yogurt and milk you like. If it’s too tart add a bit of honey or Agave syrup to sweeten.
Step 2: blend it up and enjoy!!

Bagel Breakfast Sandwich

There is no reason to go out and buy a breakfast sandwich when it takes just minutes to make. 
You will need:
  • 1 egg
  • salt/pepper
  • sprinkle of Italian seasoning
  • optional 1 tsp milk
  • small bagels (I use weight watchers whole wheat- they are the perfect size!)
  • 1 slice ham or turkey
  • 1 slice Swiss cheese
  • 1 slice tomato
  • mustard or ketchup or barbecue sauce- whatever you like!


Step 1: in a small ramekin add the egg and whisk for a scrambled egg or leave whole if you prefer. Add salt, pepper, a sprinkle of Italian seasoning and milk if you like.
Step 2: I rarely use my microwave but, in this instance it makes a perfect shaped egg in less than 1 minute. I microwave for 20 seconds, then I look at it to make sure it still needs more time, then I microwave for an additional 15 seconds and it is puffy and perfect. You might need to run a knife around the ramekin but, it should pop right out. No oil or butter is required but, for the flavour you could brush the ramekin before adding the egg.
Step 3: I like to fry the ham or turkey to get it a bit crispy. Toast the bagel and place your cheese, tomato, perfect little egg and ham on the bottom. I use mustard on the top of the bagel but, you add whatever makes you happy!
Good Morning!


Muesli is an oat and yogurt mix that makes a great breakfast or snack. You don’t need to cook the oats and it’s easy to add your favourite fruits and nut combination. I usually make the mix at night and then just add the toppings the next morning when serving it.

You will need:

  • 1/2  cup yogurt (plain is perfect to use here because you will be jazzing it up) 
  • 1/4 cup milk (almond, soy or whatever kind you like)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of oats (uncooked)
  • 1-2 tbsp of honey (you can drizzle more on top when serving)
  • 1 green apple -grated
  • 1/4 cup of sliced almonds or granola or your favourite nut or dried fruit
  • fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or bananas, mango etc…

Step 1: in a small bowl add yogurt of your choice, milk, pinch of salt, vanilla and oats. At this stage you can stir and cover overnight in the fridge or continue and serve in a few hours. You need a few hours to let the oats soften.

Step 2: take soften oat mix and add honey, grated apple (I usually add the skin but, this apple had a pretty tough skin so I decided to peel it) and I added some granola.
Step 3: this is perfect for 2 servings. You can add a bit more yogurt, honey, granola or fresh fruit to top. 
It makes the perfect Saturday breakfast

Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri is an Argentinian herb sauce typically served over meats. It it fresh and herbal and it wonderful on steaks and chicken in particular.

You will need:

  • bunch of parsley (I always choose flat/Italian vs. curly)
  • 5-6 fresh oregano leaves (it’s pretty strong stuff fresh!)
  • small bunch of chives
  • small bunch of mint
  • small bunch of basil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes 
  • salt/pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp red wine/ sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Step 1: get your blend of fresh herbs. I have picked all of mine from the backyard.
Step 2: add everything to the food processor except the oil. Blend until you get a nice puree. Add the oil last and blend to combine. Taste it and add more salt or pepper or chili flakes or lemon as necessary. Store in fridge in a sealed container.
We had some grilled Chorizo and chicken breast that we served it on. Tonight I will have to make a steak to use the rest on!

Braised Country Ribs with Mango Avocado Relish

You can eat these as ribs normally are eaten or you can remove all the nasty bits and serve them in a sandwich with a mango avocado relish. My husband loves any kind of meal where all the nasty fat and bones are removed and only the tasty parts are left. Don’t even think about giving him a lobster in it’s shell or a whole fish brought to the table!

You will need:

  • 6-8 meaty country style pork ribs
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce/paste
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2- 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • buns/rolls
  • barbecue sauce
  • 1 mango- cubed in small dice
  • 1 avocado- cubed in small dice
  • 1/2 – 1 lime juiced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • salt/pepper
Step 1: chop the onion and saute in large pan until starting to brown. Add ribs and cook until meat starts to sear and get a bit of colour. You will have some browned bits of fond on the bottom of the pan which is all good flavour. 
Step 2: mix all the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the ribs. Add 1/2 cup of apple juice to start and after an hour  of cooking add more if they are too dry. I cook them on the stove for 1 hour on low, then flip them and add more juice and cook another 1/2 hour. You want them to be moist and tender.
Step 3: once cooked remove from the pan.
Step 4: strain the remaining liquids and separate the fat by using a fat separator or by putting the liquid in the fridge for 10-15 minutes and the fat will rise to the top so you can skim it off with a spoon. Return the juices to a small saucepan and reduce by half. Just cook it slowly on medium heat until it reduces and concentrates. 
Step 5: when the meat is cool enough to handle separate the bones and fat and return the lovely chunks of ribs into your concentrated juices. You can re-heat the meat in the juices before putting on a nice bun.
Step 6: chop mango, avocado and add all remaining ingredients to create your relish.
Serve hot and juicy with the cool relish on top and a drizzle of your favourite barbecue sauce.

Broccoli and Almonds

This one if for my friend Gina who always says nice things about my recipes and always wants more Vegetarian options. This is quickly cooked and tossed in a dressing.

You will need:

  • a head of broccoli
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced thin
  • 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin or honey
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
Step 1: chop broccoli into similar sized pieces. I like to use some of the stalk as well.
Step 2: in a large saute pan heat oil and chili flakes.
Step 3: add sliced garlic and cook for a minute or two. Add broccoli and saute for another minute. Add water and cover until all the water evaporates and you can hear the broccoli start to sizzle again.
Step 4: in a small bowl add soy sauce, mirin, ginger, sesame oil and five spice powder. You will add this dressing to the warm broccoli once it is cooked to your liking.
Step 5: you can add the almonds with the broccoli or just add at them at the end. I usually cook some and sprinkle some at the end so they stay crunchy.
Step 6: pour over the dressing and toss. Serve with a few more chili flakes and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
My Gina will love it!!!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is all the rage these days and of course true pulled pork is make in a smoker and can take 16-20 hours to cook. I actually have a smoker and when I cook using it I add the meat to the smoker for a short period of time and then finish it in the oven. I like a bit of smoke taste but I don’t want it overwhelming.I also like to leave the pork with some bigger chunks instead of just letting it cook to death and have it all mushy shreds. You enjoy the way you like it. I will have to do something in the smoker one day to show y’all but this pulled pork is great for busy people. You make it in the slow cooker and can set it up the night before and just turn it on as you head out for the day. 

You will need:
  • pork shoulder also called pork butt (mine is about 3.5 pounds/1.6 kg)
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp paprika (hot or sweet)
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder mix
  • 1 tbsp your favourite bar-b-q seasoning
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup apple juice or beer for the bottom of the pot
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp natural smoke 

To finish

  • approx 1/2 cup your favourite bar-b-q sauce 
  • pan drippings minus the fat skimmed off
  • 1-2 tbsp bar-b-q rub mix (above)

Step 1: wash and pat dry a pork shoulder which is also called pork butt. This is a fatty meat but, once it is cooked I will go through the meat and carefully remove every spec of fat. I like to keep the fat on for cooking but I don’t want to eat it and I hate getting a nasty piece in a sandwich so I remove every single bit of all the gross parts to make a lovely pulled pork sandwich.

Step 2: chop an onion and spread on the bottom of the pot. Add the apple juice or beer to the pot. You don’t need too much liquid just enough to get it going.

Step 3: in a small bowl add all the ingredients for your rub and then spread all over the meat. be generous but make sure to reserve 2 tbsp for the final sauce. At this stage you can add the meat to the pot and store in the fridge overnight. It will allow the seasonings to marinate the meat but, if you want to just start the cooker that is also fine.

Step 4: before turning on your cooker make the wet drizzle in a small bowl. Since we are not using a smoker a small amount of liquid smoke will give it a nice flavour.Take half the drizzle and pour or spoon over the top of the meat. Start cooker I do 8 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low. At the halfway point you can pour the remaining drizzle over the meat. If you are out for the day then save the remainder drizzle and add to your final saucing with the bar-b-q sauce.
This is the pork with the rub on it.
Then I add the drizzle.
This is a natural liquid smoke.
Step 5: once it has cooked it will be very tender. Remove it from the slow cooker and let it cool until you can handle it. Pull off all the fat and connective tissue leaving just the perfect chunks of meat.
Step 6: strain the liquid in the bottom of the pot. I have a fat separator which allows you to pour off the juice and leave the fat. You can also put the container in the fridge until the fat hardens and you just remove it like wax.
Step 7: add the meat to a large pan. Add some more of your rub, your favourite bar-b-q sauce and the juices from the crock pot and heat on low for approx 10 minutes. The meat will start to fall apart even more the longer you cook it so I don’t fuss with it too much because I like some bigger chunks still left in it. If you are serving a crowd you can also return all of this step to the slow cooker and set it to low or warm. People can then get what they want and the rest stays warm. 
I always serve mine with coleslaw on a soft squishy bun. I also add a spicy bar-b-q sauce to make a nice contrast. It is sweet, smoky, salty and the coleslaw is tangy and cold in contrast to the hot rich meat.
My coleslaw is some cabbage, a kohlrabi, a carrot and cider vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper.

Cheesy Stuffed Burgers

This is a burger stuffed with Swiss cheese and grilled. It is juicy and yummy, that’s why most recipes call this kind of burger a Juicy Lucy. 
You will need:
  • 1 pound of regular ground beef or a mix of pork and beef 
  • Swiss cheese slices or your favourite cheese
  • 2 tbsp pesto (I used my garlic scape pesto– see recipe)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp your favourite bar-b-q seasoning mix
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley- flat Italian is always better than that yucky curly parsley.
  • fresh squishy buns

Step 1: start with a good ground beef. You need some fat here so don’t buy the extra lean. I usually mix half ground pork with beef but, in this instance I used all beef.
Step 2: add a good pesto (I have used my garlic scape pesto) seasoning mix, salt, pepper and chopped parsley. I also use pesto because it adds more oil (fat) to the burger so it stays moist.
Step 3: form a patty and I slice each piece of cheese in quarters and add 2 slices to each burger.
Step 4: carefully enclose the cheese in the burger or just make 2 thin patties that sandwich the cheese. You want a good seal so that the cheese doesn’t ooze out while grilling.
Step 5: grill to your liking.
Eat it.