Pan-seared Chicken with Morels


This is adapted from a recipe in Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten. I love the flavours and richness of French food, but I often reduce the fat content without compromising the flavour.  



  • 1 oz (30 g) dried morels
  • 6 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flour, for dredging
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable oil
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup/60 mL)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (250 mL) Madeira
  • 2 cups (500 mL) chicken stock
  • 1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 tbsp/30 mL)
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped parsley


Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

Soak morels in hot water for 30 minutes. Lift morels carefully from the water and rinse well to remove all the grittiness. Discard liquid and dry morels on paper towels. Set aside.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and shake off the excess.

Heat half the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
Cook chicken in 2 batches until browned on both sides,
about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken as it’s cooked to a casserole dish.

Add the rest of the oil to the pan. Add morels, shallots and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Increase heat to high. Pour Madeira into the pan and reduce the liquid by half, about 2 minutes. Add chicken stock, cream, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Boil until the sauce starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken.

Bake for 10 minutes or until the chicken is heated through. Garnish with chives and parsley.

Serve over egg noodles with a simple green salad.


Mushrooms with Peas
and Tomatoes

I adapted this quick side from Sara Foster’s Fresh Every Day cookbook. I love its earthy flavours and bright colours. 



  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 pint (500 mL) cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cups (750 mL) fresh or frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste


In a large saucepan, melt butter with oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until just softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently, until soft and golden, about 5 more minutes. Add cherry tomatoes and sauté a few more minutes. Add peas and cook, stirring, until tomatoes and peas are soft but peas are still bright green, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.


Mom’s Saucy Apple Cake

This is yet another family dessert favourite. The kids love the sauce—but what’s not to love about sugar and butter! When apple season hits, my dad’s orchard yields way more than “an apple a day,” so here is a sweet ending. 



  • 1 cup (250 mL) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 2 cups (500 mL) chopped peeled apples
  • (McIntosh or Gala)


  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) 18% cream
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter



Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9-inch (2.5 L) square cake pan.

In a large bowl, beat together sugar, butter and eggs until light and fluffy.

Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Stir into batter with apples. Spread in prepared pan.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until centre of cake springs back when lightly touched or a toothpick comes out clean.

To make the sauce, combine sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened.
Serve cake warm with warm sauce.