Beef Taquitos and Flautus. July 1st, Three random reasons to celebrate this “Happy day”


Beef Taquitos and Flautus

Beef Taquitos and Flautus


Happy 1 year Blog-Aversary to me! Woooooooaaaahh! That’s right I made it…Cheers!! July 1, 2013, I entered the world of blogging. To be perfectly honest, getting a post together reminds me of school work & I’ve never been a fan of school work so I’m not quite sure how I’ve kept this “afloat”. Spending time in the kitchen is of course the part I enjoy most. Trying to capture pictures in the evenings when natural light is long gone can become annoying as I had broken my tripod.😦 (No fear, bought a new)  Also, trying to measure out a recipe when I cook off-the-cuff just slows things down. Yes, off-the-cuff, basically how I’ve lived my life.😉  The only recipes I’ve ever followed is when it comes to baking. And well that’s more of a science so it’s the only time I have patience in being precise.

Alrighty, not only is it my Blog-Aversary (cheers again to me) It’s Canada Day! Happy 147th Birthday Canada (or which was once referred to as Dominion Day) to the best country out there. Anyone reading this from back home knows Canada is the place to be raised. You must be asking, why does she live in the Caribbean? Easy answer, climate, among many other perks of island life. I’ve had my fill of the big country life and frankly it could stay right where it is, I’ve found peace on an island surrounded by crystal blue waters…Ahhh yes, time for a swim when I’m done with this post.

Well, i’m still not done with the three happy’s of July 1, 2014 – It’s also Emancipation Day here for 1/2 the island. Slavery abolished on July 1,1863 for the Dutch West Indie colonies. Strangely the day itself only became an official holiday in 2012. I remember that day a few years back as I had no clue of the relevance here until the government decided to finally acknowledge it, now making it a family day with celebrations & activities. Happy Emancipation Day!

As I will not dare to venture further into any history because that sounds absolutely exhausting, it’s always nice to read about the history of Canada (good refresher) and Caribbean history which is all fairly new to me.

First time I whipped this up was a direct result of shopping in our big box store Cost-U-Less which we all call “Cost-u-more” as you end up leaving spending more than anticipated. On this particular outing I was hungry, of course, head to a grocery store when hungry!?!? The staples, toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc…was the purpose for this stop. Once my cart was full of necessities, there I stood in the freezer section staring/drooling at all the convenience foods that could easily fill my belly within 10 minutes of reaching home. Taquitos caught my eye so I read the ingredients for the 1st time. I’ve bought them once in the past, I won’t deny I fall to the mercy of junk food once a month! I refer to them as “junk food” because when I don’t know what an ingredient is then it’s classed as “junk food”.  So after reading the ingredients & knowing what they taste like, back in the freezer they went. A few doors down I found flour & corn tortillas & decided to make them my way. Lets face it, there’s not much thought that needs to go into these and it’s a good time to be creative. Picked up a pack of ground beef and fresh peppers. Was thinking of adding black beans however I had stewed lentils the night before so why not use them?!  Not to mention it’s a great way to hide lentils from people who claim to hate lentils. Once you read my simple recipe, there’s really no excuse to buy those frozen fellas any longer.  Also briefly read about the difference between Taquitos & Flautus as I really didn’t realize there was a difference.

Rolling time! Beef Taquitos and Flautus

Rolling time! Beef Taquitos and Flautus

Taquito : Corn tortilla, spanish for small taco rolled with a filling.  Flauta : Flour tortilla, spanish for flute, rolled with a filling. Apparently fillings & length of them also vary within parts of Mexico.  Again, I will not go down the history road as it sounds exhausting!

One tip I’d like to share with the rolling of these. I started with the flour tortillas & banged through them quite quickly. Moved on to the corn tortillas and as you can see in the below picture, this is what happens when you try to roll a cold corn tortilla! Warm the corn tortilla’s slightly to prevent them from falling apart. I don’t own a microwave so I just popped them in the oven for a few minutes.

Corn Tortilla Wreckage

Corn tortilla wreckage

Now, what do Taquitos & Flautus have in common with this July 1st  day of happiness? Absolutely nothing! Simple as that. Just a recipe i’ve been meaning to post & baking a cake was out of the question today.🙂


Beef Flautas & Taquitos

2 pkgs Corn Tortillas (small, not the burrito size)  12 per pack

2 pkgs Flour Tortilla (small, not the burrito size)  10 per pack

625 gram Ground Beef

1 cup of cooked Lentils (or canned)

1 bay leaf

garlic clove (crushed)

1 scallion (spring onion) white & green part – finely chopped

fresh green pepper – finely chopped

fresh red pepper – finely chopped

fresh yellow pepper – finely chopped

125 gram Cream Cheese (1/2 a 250 gr block)

salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, onion & garlic powder (basically a store-bought taco seasoning mix)


Start by sautéing crushed garlic, scallion, bay leaf, and the trio of peppers in a splash of olive oil until they begin to soften. Add the ground beef and season generously with the dried spices. I used aprx 1/4 of each pepper. Really depends on the size of the pepper so I have no exact measurement for that.

Once the ground beef is cooked, remove from heat & strain out any excess oil.

In a large bowl, combine the beef mixture, stewed lentils (or canned lentils) and the cream cheese. I had some other cheese’s kicking around and of course added them as well. Taste the mixture and season further if needed. I’ve since made them adding jalepeno’s for an extra kick.

Lay out the tortillas on a flat surface. Don’t forget to warm the corn tortillas slightly to make them pliable to roll. Keep them warm & work quickly. Place a nice heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture on the tortilla and roll tightly placing them seam side down.

If baking in the oven a toothpick is not required to secure them. Just place them seam side down & bake until golden. If deep-frying them (which I prefer) secure the seam with a toothpick & fry until golden

I served these as a snack dunking them in a mixture of mashed avocado, sour cream, fresh lime juice & a mixture of dry seasonings.

taquitos flautus

Beef Taquitos and Flautus with spicy avocado (Baked)


Great to freeze before baking/frying. So easy, homemade taquitos & flautas straight from your own freezer, ready for a snack.

I was able to make 37 pieces even after the corn tortilla wreckage!

Buon Appetito  ;)

BTW, I may not have purchased the frozen taquitos, however, I made a quick stop at McD’s for a happy meal instead!🙂




Kneading bread, Secrets from Nonna Maria’s basement cucina


Garlic Breadsticks

Garlic Breadsticks


Well it’s obvious to say i am not the most dedicated blogger out in cyber space.  The fact that I’ve reached this far is a shock in itself. Have to admit, I blog in my head and through my lens every time I’m in the kitchen. Gathering my thoughts and photos into a post seems is the major issue.  Any amateur blogger out there will understand that.😉

It’s been raining on the island for just over a week. Excuse my random babblings that may occur through this post. Eventually we will get to a recipe. I promise you that.

My Nonna Maria recently passed away; She is my city Nonna, my namesake and apparently per my Daddio I have truly become her. I definitely see some truth to that. If you’ve followed me you know about my foodie family😉

Bon Appetitio from the basemento cucina

Polizia Cucina😉


This post is heading towards either a journey on grief/loss or making the best of ones life. I’ll make the grief part quick… My Nonna Maria was the best cook, baker, sergeant I’ve ever known. Yes sergeant. Standing under 5 feet she had the ability to make a 6 foot man cry.. Trust me, i saw it happen.🙂 Sadly, I don’t think I learnt enough from her. I still can’t make a man cry! LMAO

I picked up the traditional Italian basics from our town in Campobasso. Breads, fresh pasta, fresh sausage, prosciutto, jarring anything and everything from tomatoes to any vegetable..My goodness i almost forgot wine! Every year wine from luscious fresh grapes was produced!  I could go on forever with what I learned in the famous “basement kitchens”. Theres actually so many more great kitchen secrets that i’d rather not share with anyone. One thing i will share that has stuck with me…She always taught me to make sure i had food ready for everyone else at all hours. She taught me to always eat before anyone else arrived. I do that..It’s one thing that’s become a habit. Even if it’s just bread, I can say “I already ate”.  Here’s where the babbling kicks in…so i recieved the phone call from my Daddio to say Nonna Maria passed away. I was fine..because i am always fine. By the weekend i was baking bread, cooking salmon 2 different ways, Lasagne, chicken, creole stuffed New Zealand Mussels, Dark chocolate Brownies, Thai inspired eggplant and anything i could get my hands on. (Those recipes to follow)



Still I didn’t realize what just happend. A week later and I realized my Nonna Maria had left us and joined my Nonno and my brother in heaven.


Really, it took 1 week to realize this? I wonder at times if I should have remained a blonde! Sharp as a tool come business yet in the clouds at times! ahhh ha ha

So, excuse all the above babbling. Ahhh, off my little chest😉 However, was a must share.

Below is an amazing bread recipe i found online during my recent stress attacks in the kitchen. Actually circulating online as a “copycat” Olive Garden bread recipe. I hardly read those but this one caught my eye. If you’re experienced in homemade breads you can pick out a nice recipe on 1st glance.

This recipe doesn’t have any history to it, however i’ve made it into my own little thing wrapped around my own little life. My goodness they were fabulous. I frooze 1/2 of the baked batch. Re warmed them in the oven and wouldn’t change a thing. Soft pillows as if they were just baked.



Garlic Breadsticks 


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water 115 F
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
450 grams (16 ounces) (about 3 1/2 to 4 cups) Flour – I used AP and worked out nice

For the topping:
2-3 tablespoons butter, melted
garlic powder
In the bowl of a stand mixer or I make by hand, dissolve the sugar in the water, sugar, then add yeast. Allow to sit to work it’s magic.

Add the flour 1 cup at a time, the melted butter and salt if using unsalted butter.  Continue in adding flour until you achieve a soft plyable dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic. I’ll be honest, I have become accustome to kneading by hand here , i probably end up kneading for longer as i find it extremely therapeutic and so much more love goes into it.🙂

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely with a towel. Let rest in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.


Divide the dough into 10 portions. Roll each piece of dough into aprx 8-inch log. Place the dough logs on a nonstick baking mat or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2  hours.

dough 3



Preheat the oven to 180’C. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with the melted butter, sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Really you could jazz these up with any seasonings your heart desires.



Buon Appetito😉


ok, now i will hit spell check and revise this whole post! lol







I am Canadian..Hockey & Bagels?

Tuna & Avocado on a frozen bagel ;(

Tuna & Avocado on a frozen bagel ;(


I’ve had this post written up since Sunday February 23, 2014 and held off from posting until I baked up these bagels to photograph. I’ll be honest, i havent had time and well i keep forgetting to buy rye flour so it’s turned into a “maybe this weekend” I will finish.  This is the 1st bagel recipe i have ever baked & has always worked well in the past when playing with different flours.

Stay tuned as i will edit the post with pictures & ingredients measured by weight as so much more accurate.

Bagels and Hockey, what do they have in common? Some bagels make for great pucks!

This is simple, i’m a hockey girl at heart. I AM Canadian and come from a hockey family, so of course the sound of skates gliding on the ice, the scent of an indoor ice rink, the screaming of profanity heard from man woman or child coming from the stands and the sound of the players being slammed into the boards really brings back some wonderful memories from my childhood. One must have spent many weekends as a child in ice rinks to grasp how any of the above could be a fond memory. With my daddio coaching and my brother playing, you could understand I am no stranger to a stinky stenchy ice rink/locker room or a famous hockey brawl between players and or parents!! ohh, i do miss those days.

I didn’t play ice hockey as a child, actually none of us girls on the block did. We just skated around in our  fancy girlie skates. Most of the times, we, the girls in the neighbourhood were included in the street ball hockey games with the boys and well as you could imagine it always led to arguments. One in particular I will never forget, when myself and my best friend (at the time) ended up hitting each other with our hockey sticks. Now, from what I recall, the fight was over Cabbage Patch Dolls while we played hockey! Ahh where went the days when you could beat on eachother with a hockey stick and all is good the next day? Must give this a try again, only challenge will be finding a hockey stick in the Caribbean.

February 23, 2014 and the Sochi Winter Olympics come to an end. Proudly i’d like to announce it ending with Canadian Mens Hockey defeating Sweden for the Gold Medal.

Humour related to the Mens Hockey game Canada vs/ Sweden refernce to Ikea! lol

Humour related to the Mens Hockey game Canada vs/ Sweden reference to Ikea! lol

Lets not forget, the Canadian Womens Hockey team claiming the Gold medal defeating USA just a few days earlier.

Bit of Humour between Canada & USA

Bit of Humour between Canada & USA for the Womens Hockey team.. Our Mascot the Beaver and the American Bald Headed Eagle at war!

Hockey, well it’s our sport so it only seems natural for us to hold onto those golds😉

So, I was up with the chickens to watch the Canada vs/Sweden game with my espresso of course. By the 2nd period I realized I hadn’t surprise, this is MY normal😉   hmm, fresh avocado w/ tuna would hit the spot and hold me over till next feeding. Had no bread except for frozen bagels. Yes, i know, you must be wondering, why is this girl buying frozen bread when she’s surrounded by scumptious French & Dutch bakeries.  Well here’s why: The French nor the Dutch can bake bagels and well i’d rather they not try. Hence why I ocassionally fill my craving with the frozen ones. In fairness, I will not mention the brand. I’m quite sure if they were fresh and hadn’t sat in a container floating on the ocean for a few weeks to arrive here all squished with freezer burn then they’d probably be palitable. So there I was, watching a hockey game, eating my bagel sandwich,watching the puck slide across the ice I said out loud  “Hey”, these bagels would make great pucks!

Ahhh, reminising on the many bagel shops I would frequent on a regular basis back home in Toronto.

Here’s the thing, If i could click my magical heels (truth be known that I have a few of them) i’d be somewhere on Bathurst st in the Jewish neighbourhoods, at one of my favourite bagel spots, watching the fresh hot bagels fall off the belt, all eager to jump into my huge paper bag. Then i’d head over to the ACC centre with my bag of bagels, (I’d take the subway in the snow) catch a Maple Leaf game, take in the sweaty scent of an ice rink, enjoying my hot bagels with a cold Molson Canadian! Ohh wow, lets not even get into the real cream cheese or I may just melt right now!  Really now, this is what watching the Olympics has made me think of EH?!?🙂  Ooops, almost forgot, then i’d click those magical heels to get me back to my island heat.

The title of this entry really wasn’t much work..however finding my bagel recipe was a little harder. Daddio sent me a load of my recipes from back home so I was confident in finding it. Only made them a couple of times in the past and well I think it’s about that time.

It’s funny, normally a post can take a full day between the photos, editing, writing and well the descipline to sit behind the computer long enough to finish it. Somehow I had this done in less than an hour however no bagels were baked on the same day. LOL🙂  To be continued once recipe located and whole wheat flour purchased!


4 Cups Bread Flour

2 Cups Rye Flour or/ Whole Wheat Flour

500 ml water (105-115 F)

3 tblsp honey

2 tblsp yeast

2 Eggs

2 tblsp olive oil

1 tblsp salt


In a large bowl combine both the flours & salt.  Set aside

In a small bowl combine & dissolve the Water, 1 tblsp honey & yeast. Cover with a tea towel & allow the yeast to activate.

In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, 2 tblsp honey & olive oil

Once the yeast is active add it to the Flour bowl. Then add the beaten egg mixture to the flour bowl.

Get your hands in there and begin to knead. If your using your stand mixer well bless your heart!  I really do miss mine at times. Let it knead for at least 10 minutes until you reach a smooth dough.

Cover the bowl and allow dough to rest for an hour.

Time to form your bagels. Seperate dough into aprx 30 balls. Roll into a & form…place on parchment lined pan Press the tips together. Cover & allow to rise for an additional 60 minutes.

Set a large pot of water with 2 tblsp of honey to boil.  Preheat oven to 375 F

Once the water has come to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.  Poach the bagels, turning to poach each side apex 2 minutes. Using tongs remove from the hot water. Place on parchment lined baking pans & bake for aprx 15 – 20 min.  Prior to baking is the time to top them with poppy seeds etc..

Buon Appetito😉

Now I can’t help reading over this post and wonder if hockey was the contributing factory for my love to turn everything into a compettion and need to win? My opinion, every little girl should be brought up around hockey cause sure makes for someone who will never give up without a dang good fight!

BTW, for all the parents out there shaking their heads at me, please note I am not promoting violence..just a bit of healthy compettion to prepare for this big bad world!😉

Spicy Chili in the not so chilly Caribbean – My “Chill” Life

Beautiful Frangipani flowers in Anguilla

Frangipani flowers in Anguilla

Well here I am, finally adding to my ohhh so neglected blog. Things have been crazy busy on this end of the Caribbean. Where did I leave off? I believe sometime in 2013..

Since then, I had my good friend from back home come to visit. Was amazing to catch up, hit the beaches, act like a tourist, enjoy good food & drinks of course😉

Cheers & welcome to the Caribbean my friend!

Cheers & welcome to the Caribbean my friend!

Ran away (or should I say sailed away) a few times to my favourite island being Anguilla, with my camera on hand to capture all the beauty the island has to offer. Was able to truly relax and see the island from a different perspective these last several visits.

Viceroy is a must visit if you get the chance. I won’t even get into the chaos we caused running around there.🙂

Viceroy in Anguilla. Beautiful grounds, villas etc

The many beautiful beaches is what keeps me escaping to Anguilla time & time again for ultimate peace

Climb down a rope to the secluded beach at Little Bay, Anguilla. I could live down there in a tent w/ a bbq & i'd be just fine! ;)

Climb down a rope to the secluded beach at Little Bay, Anguilla. I could live down there in a tent w/ a bbq & i’d be just fine!😉

Balcony view of beautiful blue waters of Anguilla

Balcony view of beautiful blue waters of Anguilla

So, real life kinda took over and I’ve now found myself in February 2014 wondering how I got here!?!?  We are still in high season on the island, so thankfully things really picked up and I couldn’t be more blessed for the way the season has gone so far.

Noticed this on the wall at da'Vida Resto & Spa in Anguilla...It was a sign..

Noticed this on the wall at da’Vida Resto & Spa in Anguilla…It was a sign..Get it? A sign…

What can I say about Chili besides it’s ability to comfort a sad soul or just to warm you up? Ok, here’s my bit on it. I like it thick with chunks of meat/veggies, colourful..yes colourful & extra extra spicy. Otherwise its just pasta sauce with beans. Just my opinion.

At least once a month I’m cooking up a batch. Filled with meat & beans it’s a great emergency energy meal when in a hurry. Packed with protein and iron it makes for a filling lunch or dinner. For everyone who knows me, when I get busy running around I forget to eat SO Chili has become a saving staple in my home.

Flavours coming together

Flavours coming together

Growing up…yes, most of my food stories have a bit of that in it, the dish was never prepared by either of my Nonna’s. Obviously not an Italian dish. I can bet cumin has never seen the inside of either of their homes. However my parents both had their own spin on it using different beans, veggies, meats, spices etc.. Funny, now that I think about it, my first real memory of Chili would be my dad making a huge pot every year for his buddies for super bowl sunday. ugggh, I still don’t get that sport & I really don’t care to. I just like their uniforms..ahhhh ha ha ha ha😉

Anyways back to the Chili, it wasn’t a regular household dish yet something different during those chilly winter months and a way to use the bushels of kidney beans we’d all help separate during the summer months that came from both city Nonna’s garden & farm Nonna. Italians reading this will understand what I mean by “bushels” of Fagoli/beans🙂 Canned beans were never really used in the house, mainly dried. Shamefully I admit that yes,  I find myself using canned beans for Chili most of the time. Pre cooking dried beans for this recipe always gives a nicer texture. So if you have the time, I’d say go dry vs/ canned any day.

This is one of those dishes that i’ve been asked how I make and of course my usual answer is, “I don’t know” I just put it together. This past weekend while in the kitchen I finally made an effort with my pen & paper on hand to jot down all my ingredients. My newest addition, now studded with bright yellow kernals of corn also adds a hint of sweetness to complement the spice.

Today’s share is my simple batch of Chili to feed plenty of hungry bellies. The great thing about Chili is using it in different ways when leftover or that it freezes well for those rainy/snowy days!

Chili Con Carne 

500 Gram Ground Beef

200 Gram Stewing Beef chunks (small dice)

1/2 Red Pepper (small dice)

1/2 Yellow pepper (small dice)

1/2 Green pepper (small dice)

Fresh Onion & 2 garlic cloves (chop finely)

1 Jalapeno pepper

1 Habanero or chili pepper

2 Bay leaves

Salt, black pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper, paprika, chili powder

Sprig of Thyme

400 Gram Crushed/puree Tomatoes

480 Gram can plum tomatoes with juices

1 can or dried Kidney Beans (drained & rinsed)

1 can or dried Black Beans (drained & rinsed)

Corn kernels – aprx 1 cup or 1 can

First off I fry the beef chunks in a splash of olive oil, season with all listed dry seasonings while cooking. Remove from pan, set aside.  Next add the ground beef to the pan, fry & season until fully cooked. Remove & set aside. At times I add red wine while cooking the meats but I needed to blog this recipe so  opening a bottle of wine was not going to get this entry done!😉

In a large pot add a splash of olive oil and sauté the green/red/yellow peppers, onion & garlic.  Add Bay leaves, sprig of thyme, season with salt & pepper. Once slightly tender add both cooked meats to the pot. Next, add both the crushed tomatoes & whole tomatoes with juices to the pot. Season generously with all dry seasonings.  Finely chop the jalapeno & habanero, add to pot.  Depending on how spicy you like it.

Bring to a simmer for 15 – 20 mins.  Give a taste for spice. At this point, add the drained kidney beans, black beans & corn. Continue to simmer for another 20 mins.

chili con carne with toasted corn tortillas

chili con carne with toasted corn tortillas

If you have corn tortillas cut them in triangles & bake them to serve with the chili. Otherwise fresh crusty bread is always the best choice in mopping up all the goodness in your dish!

Buon Appetito😉

Necessary funny photo post..Ferry named after me & well the rest speaks for itself!!! "Chill Life"

Necessary funny photo post..Ferry named after me & well the rest speaks for itself!!! “Chill Life”

Baci di Dama; Smooching almond cookies..Everyone loves a sweet chocolatey kiss!

Baci di Dama

Baci di Dama

Well here we go, it’s the last day of September and I could not let the month end without a recipe post. This past weekend I began to notice my fellow blogger friends preparing for Christmas with all their lovely baking posts..ohh my goodness, really I thought. This will not happen so soon for me. I have a ton, and I mean a ton of Christmas baking I’d love to share however it’s actually getting it entered and photographed, that’s the hard part. So I came up with this amazing idea, offer one of my simple, sweet Italian treats quickly. Viola! Now I’d say I’m ahead of myself!!!!🙂  Good Job *pats on the back*

I was first introduced to baking Baci di Dama (translation, Lady’s Kisses) in the back of a downtown Toronto kitchen..a shady kinda place…where many of my decadent desserts erupted from. Now and then I will refer to it as the “Back street Italian kitchen”

Baking Baci di Dama were never a tradition in my family. Popular at weddings and showers but I never enjoyed eating them as they lacked the buttery almond flavour and texture that they ohhh so need.  However, I soon fell in love with them. There cute, they smile, 2 cookies kissing between melted chocolate, oh how sweet, it’s like a love story in a cookie  ;)  Muaaah

Baci di Dama

Baci di Dama

Baci di Dama

150 gram butter

115 gram granulated sugar

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon Amaretto (almond liquor) or extract

115 gram finely ground almonds

175 gram AP flour

Pre-Heat oven to 180 C / 350 F

Dark chocolate for melting. Any good chocolate will work. If you prefer Milk chocolate give that a go! I’ve never weighed out the amount I use. Somehow I never have wasted chocolate kicking around.😉

Place butter and sugar in a bowl. With a hand mixer or stand mixer mix until fully combined and creamy.  Add egg yolk and Amaretto. Mix. Add ground almonds & flour.  The mixture should not be very sticky, you should be able to roll balls without turning your hands into an almod glove.😉 If you find the dough to be difficult to roll, refrigerate for an hour. Roll into 1-inch size balls. Don’t make them to large, you want to be able to pop these babies in your mouth a few at a time back to back. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet or on a silicone baking mat.

Bake aprx 10-12 min, until lightly golden in colour.

Once the cookies have been removed from the oven and cooled prepare the chocolate. Place your chocolate of choice in a stainless steel bowl & place the bowl over a pot of water. Bring the water to a slight boil and turn the heat off. Stir the chocolate until melted and remove the bowl from over the pot. You don’t want to burn the chocolate, it will begin to separate and will be a sad waste to beautiful chocolate :-( Dip the flat side of the cookie in the melted chocolate and gently sandwich together with a  2nd cookie.

The recipe doubles, triples wonderfully for larger batches. Note at times I suggest adding your own personal twist to a recipe, but this particular traditional cookie recipe I don’t feel should be altered.

Hope you enjoy these tiny sweet kisses (Lady’s kisses) as much as I do

Buon Appetito😉

Dolce Vita: Ms Daisy wearing Rubber Boots in the Caribbean sniffing nature..hippie chick


found this at the entrance of a local Villa

Translation “Sweet Life” Every now and then I must remind myself just how true that is.. This past summer I took the time to remind myself by doing things on this beautiful island that i hadn’t in years or haven’t ever at all. Why? Because life happens as usual, you forget the beauty that surrounds.

It’s September already, where has this year gone?

Looking back now, July & August has been a buzz. Flying by as usual. I wonder why those 2 particular months pass us as though they never really existed in reality, only on film..okay, maybe not real film but digital image😉 dating myself with the word film..

No recipe in this post today.. Just nature that caught me over the past few months as well as some fun outings.

I feel compelled to share this mighty cactus that resides near me



For obvious reasons everyone always has a good chuckle as they pass it.

Lets move on…

Year after year hurricane season rolls around and I usually have one thing on my mind that I must buy. Not dry goods, not batteries, not even water. Rubber boots and a rain coat!  When i get caught in a rain storm I tend to look like a wet cat hit by lightning. It’s never a pretty site. My hair blows up and i find myself covered in mud.  Staying home is not an option so I need to be covered in rubber and plastic to be safe.  I am happy to announce that this year I finally bought my rubber boots. And wow, they are some boots. Black, covered with pink flowers, what more could a girl ask for?😉  A friend of mine calls me ‘Little Ms Daisy” when I wear them. Not sure why though?


Well unfortunately the rain only lasted a few hours on the day I broke in my Ms Daisy boots and the ground dried up quickly so off with the boots because frankly I would have looked silly still kicking around in them considering I was wearing a skirt!

Had a few hours before my hair appointment and a visit to the farm could finally fit.  Yes the farm. The one and only farm on the island.


I drive past it nearly every day and never stop. Not sure why it’s taken me this many years. Run by an amazing Rastafarian from Jamaica passionate about all of his creations from grafting fruit trees, growing a variety of vegetables and his carpentry projects with the local youth.

I had my camera with me and it was turning into an okay day to start snapping once the sun started to peek out. Thought I’d finally share some of the beautiful fruits on my walk through the field.


Star Fruit



Ackee Fruit

Ackee fruit which I have yet to cook with..I must add that to my list.

Sugar Apple

Sugar Apple

butterfly collage

Above is a few pictures of butterflies I took at the butterfly farm. It’s a hop skip & a jump away from home & of course I forgot it’s here. Once inside surrounded by all the different butterflies you truly forget where you are. And yes, those are two butterflies mating!😉

So as I mentioned I did some things I normally don’t & well tennis & horseback riding were a few…yes I played tennis a few times..a few..just leave it at that. Both activities were great fun but exhausting..Not to mention pulling some muscles that are normally not used! ha ha ha Truly exhausting. I much prefer my kitchen😉



A visit to the local stable horseback riding only to find a field of various animals. Was amazing! This beautiful pony almost ended up packed up in my suv to come home with me..

I managed to run away to a neighbouring island, well I didn’t actually run, I took a boat..All I needed was my fishing rod that day.Ultimate peace..


instead we splashed about in the water for a full day and captured hermit crabs , which we soon released right back into the water with their lobster friends.


Last picture, i promise : it brings me back to the 1st month I arrived here. It reminds me of the simple peace of strolling about with my camera.  As I said at the beginning, Dolce Vita


BTW, I still don’t own a raincoat!😦

You’re a Baccalà! Caribbean Salt Fish, Bacalhau, Morue : Cod Fish, all ’round the world we have our own name and use for it


If I ever opened a restaurant I think I’d name it “Baccalà” just for fun. Calling someone a “Baccala as an Italian can be taken varies ways & not to kindly!  As a kid it was always funny to hear. As an adult, I don’t want to be called one.😉   A clean xample, if someone was driving slow, there would be no cussing, it would be simply “Look at this Baccala”. I know it wasn’t just my family that used the term towards random silly acts because I heard other Italians “yelling” it as well. Who came up with all those slang funnies anyways? As usual, translated it just doesn’t make me laugh “you’re a Cod Fish”..Naw..

Baccalà, Salt Fish, Bacalhau, Morue..Simple cured w/salt, dried, Cod Fish. It doesn’t matter what part of the world you sprouted from I can bet there’s a traditional way to prepare it. This is truly one of my favourite dishes regardless of the method. Really, you must be thinking, Cod Fish is one of her fave? It’s ugly and it stinks. No matter the amount of times you scrub your hands, you will stink! Add some garlic to that and you’ll be sure to fend off anyone.


after soaking in water for 3 days

Growing up I only knew the dish one way which is actually still my favourite. City Nonna bakes it almost Gratin style w/ raisins, walnuts, orange zest & well some other basic ingredients. Farm Nonna never cooked with it. Neither did my parents. It was always a Christmas Eve tradition and looking back I think I was its greatest fan. No one else was ever as excited. Later on as I branched out to portuguese cuisine I fell in love with their methods. Also similar to Gratin style but layered with sliced chorizo, boiled eggs/potatoes, peppers & a few more fun ingredients. Also of course snack style, “Pasteis de baccalhau’, which are a small croquettes mixed w/potatoes & deep-fried.  I can’t say I’m particularly fond of the French method of cooking Morue except as a Brandade & well that needs to be wrapped in a puff pastry & baked for me to really love it!

Over the past years I’ve become accustomed to enjoy as I now know it as “salt fish” the Caribbean way.  Sautéed with veggies and served with a johnny-cake for breakfast. Yes, with some hot pepper it’s the best breakfast.  Every island has their own little twist/technique with it. Also of course the famous Accra. Deep fried fritters. How can you not love them?


Well I promise to post my versions of the mentioned dishes above in due time..which could possibly take me a year!😉 Todays share will be Caribbean Style as I have some extra plans for the mixture.

To begin: I prepare a few days in advance for this dish. Rinse off the salt with cold water. Place in a bowl with cold water covering the fish entirely. cover & refrigerate. Next day drain water, re fill with water. 2nd the same. I’ve gone to 3 days. Just makes for a less salty fish and allows you to control the salt. Also it allows the fish to rehydrated slowly into a plumper flesh.  I’ve seen others re hydrate it the quick way by boiling the crap out of it and then fry it. I don’t enjoy that. It doesn’t remove all the salt & it makes the fish quite tough. Also I only use boneless, No tolerance for plucking bones out of anything.

This mixture can be used on its own in sandwiches, over pasta and most recently I used as a filling for homemade stuffed buns with the addition of raisins. Sweet and spicy!

Caribbean Salt Fish

450 gram boneless dried salted cod-fish

1 medium yellow onion – small dice

1 Red pepper – small dice

1 green pepper – small dice

1 fresh season pepper – small dice

1 scotch bonnet (or not)

fresh parsley – a lot of it!

sprig of fresh Thyme

1 clove fresh garlic – crushed

salt, pepper

2 tsp Ketjap Manis (see below)

olive oil

soak the cod fish in water per above overnight. next day, drain & add fresh water. do this for 3 days is best/..move on baby…

Place the salt fish in a pot of water, bring to a boil to allow the fish to poach for only about 2-3 minutes is needed.

Saute everything in a saucepan with olive oil (except salt fish & parsley) until tender…add poached salt fish..stir breaking up the fish until fully combined & cooked..Stir in chopped parsley

Done! Easy as that…


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