Pear & Basil Marinated Brie

Pear & Basil Marinated Brie

Pear & Basil Marinated Brie

Impress your guests with a flavourful, triple cream brie

Room-temperature, triple cream brie is always a winner when entertaining. So why not elevate it to fabulous with this recipe from President’s Choice:

Pear & Basil Marinated Brie

Prep time: 10 minutes

Stand time: 4 hours


2 tbsp (25 ml) Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

2 tbsp (25 ml) finely chopped fresh basil

Pinch salt

8 oz (250 g) wedge PC® Triple Cream Brie

2 drained, canned pear halves packed in light syrup, thinly sliced

Half a baguette


In a small bowl, stir together oil, basil and salt.

Cut cheese in half horizontally. Place bottom half cut side up on a serving plate. Spoon half of the oil mixture over cheese. Place half of pear slices on top in a flat layer. Place remaining piece of cheese on top, cut side down. Spoon remaining oil over and layer with remaining pears. Cover with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours or until cheese is soft.

Meanwhile, cut the half-baguette into thin slices. Toast and serve with the brie.

Makes 6 servings

More recipe ideas are available online at

Caramel Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Bites

Caramel Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Bites

Caramel Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Bites

Delight dinner guests with the final few bites

One- or two-bite desserts are hot, even when they’re cool. In this recipe from President’s Choice, for example, instead of the usual graham crumbs for the crust, try using chocolate sandwich cookies filled with vanilla crème.

Caramel Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Bites

Serves: 24

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Chill time: 4 hours 20 minutes


8 PC® “Eat the Middle First” Cookies

1 tbsp (15 ml) all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp (7 ml) granulated sugar

1 tub (250 g) PC Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese- Caramel

1 egg

24 Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

24 toasted pecan halves


Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Line a 24 mini-muffin cup pan with foil liners.

In mini food processor, process cookies to fine crumbs. Place 1 tsp (5 ml) crumbs into each muffin cup. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, gently press crumbs together into bottom of cup. Bake in the centre of oven for 5 minutes. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir together flour and sugar. In a bowl and using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and flour mixture until smooth. Beat in egg. Spoon 1 tbsp (15 ml) of mixture into each muffin cup. Bake in the centre of the oven for 8 to 10 minutes or just until cream cheese looks set. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Place one chocolate chip flat side up in centre of each cheesecake bite; immediately top with a pecan. Chocolate chip will melt. Cool to room temperature on rack, about 2 hours.

Transfer to an airtight container; refrigerate until firm and cold, about 2 hours.

More recipe ideas can be found online at

Fall Recipes: French Toast Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups, Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecakes & Peppermint Mocha Cheesecake

Individual Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Individual Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecakes

How to be host or hostess with the most(est) with these delicious seasonal recipes

(BPT) – This time of year is all about the people you love — when you invite old friends or beloved family members into your home to celebrate and make lasting memories.

A good host always has coffee in the home, but if you really want to wow your guests this season, offer Coffee-mate’s delicious seasonal creamers and these delicious recipes as well.

Individual Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Individual Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecakes

French Toast Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

It’s French toast, it’s a cookie. It’s just plain delectable.


* 5 large eggs

* 1 cup fat-free milk

* 3/4 cup Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Flavor Coffee-mate Liquid Coffee Creamer

* 1/4 cup granulated sugar

* 12 ounces whole wheat bread, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 cups)

* 2 tablespoons Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels

* 2 tablespoons toasted walnuts, chopped

* 1/2 cup fresh raspberries or other berries

* Maple syrup (optional)


Whisk together eggs, milk, Coffee-mate and sugar in large bowl. Add bread pieces; stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or even overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or line each cup with a piece of parchment paper.

Spoon bread mixture evenly into each prepared cup; sprinkle with morsels and nuts.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until set and tops are golden. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes before serving. Top cups with raspberries and syrup, if desired.

Individual Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Pamper guests this season with these mini and personal delights (no cake cutting required). An elegant fusion of two fall favorites, pumpkin pie and gingerbread, makes these mini cheesecakes irresistible.


* 12 foil cupcake liners

* Nonstick cooking spray

* 2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, at room temperature

* 1/2 cup granulated sugar

* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

* 1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* Pinch of salt

* 2 large eggs

* 1/2 cup Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin

* 2 tablespoons Pumpkin Spice Flavor Nestle Coffee-mate Liquid Coffee Creamer


Preheat oven to 300 F. Line 12-cup muffin tin with foil liners; coat liners with nonstick cooking spray.

Beat cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon, flour, vanilla extract and salt in large mixer bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well again after each addition. Transfer half-cup batter to a medium bowl. Add pumpkin and Coffee-mate; stir until blended.

Divide white cream cheese batter evenly among prepared cups; top evenly with pumpkin batter. Swirl batters with butter knife.

Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until just set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.

Note: Cheesecakes will hold for 3 to 4 days tightly covered in refrigerator. You can freeze them in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Peppermint Mocha Cheesecake

Peppermint Mocha Cheesecake

Peppermint Mocha Cheesecake

Peppermint Mocha Cheesecake is a perfect choice for seasonal entertaining, and it is a simple recipe that will be sure to dazzle guests.


* 2 cups ground chocolate-mint sandwich cookies (such as Oreos Mint N’ Cream)

* 3 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, at room temperature

* 1 cup Peppermint Mocha Flavor Nestle Coffee-mate Powdered Coffee Creamer

* 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided

* 3 large eggs

* 1 container (16 oz.) sour cream, at room temperature

* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease bottom and side of nine-inch springform pan.

Press cookie crumbs onto bottom of prepared pan. Place in freezer for five minutes.

Beat cream cheese, Coffee-mate and 1/4 cup sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour filling into crust.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until edges are set but center still moves slightly.

Combine sour cream, remaining sugar and vanilla extract in medium bowl; mix well. Spread over surface of warm cheesecake. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Remove side of springform pan.

To find more great seasonal recipes and see how Nestle Coffee-mate seasonal flavors can add a rich flavor to your holiday gathering, visit

Walnut-Bleu Date Vinaigrette Salad

Walnut-Bleu Date Vinaigrette Salad

Walnut-Bleu Date Vinaigrette Salad

Fun twists for festive fall recipes

(BPT) – When fall arrives and the temperature cools, it’s a great time for families to get together and spend more time enjoying delicious home-cooked foods. This season, look for fun ways to put a twist on your favorite recipes, or try new recipes to bring some seasonal flavors into your home.

For inspiration, check out these tips from Chef Alex Guarnaschelli.  As part of her partnership with Fisher Nuts, Chef Alex Guarnaschelli is sharing her expert tips and recipes with a twist.

* Make nuts part of your seasonal recipes by toasting them in a little warm olive oil over medium heat.  When the nuts are toasted and coated in the oil, stir in any fresh herbs (for example, rosemary or sage) and allow the herbs to gently crisp up and meld with the nuts. Serve as is with a pinch of salt.

* Slow cooking a piece of meat? Add a few nuts to some of the cooking liquid, blend it smooth and pour it back into the rest of the cooking liquid to naturally enrich the flavor and thicken your sauce.

* Need a new vinaigrette? Roast a handful of nuts, walnuts for example, and blend them with 3 parts olive oil and 1 part lemon juice.

* Healthy greens are a great companion to nuts. Try making a salad of chopped arugula with walnuts or dandelion greens and pecans. Radicchio is delicious with almonds and apples. Using nuts can easily expand your salad horizon.

If you’re looking for a great seasonal salad recipe, this Walnut-Bleu Cheese Date Vinaigrette salad has its own unique twist using Fisher Walnut Halves and Pieces. It was created by Lori McLain of Denton, Texas, who was selected by Chef Alex Guarnaschelli and a panel of judges as the winner of the 2013 “My Fresh Twist” recipe contest.

Walnut-Bleu Date Vinaigrette Salad

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients – Sesame date vinaigrette:
6 pitted dates
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon coarse Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

Ingredients – Salad topping:
6 dates, finely chopped
2/3 cup chopped Fisher Walnut Halves and Pieces
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Ingredients – Salad:
6 cups mixed salad greens with radicchio and romaine
1 cup halved yellow cherub tomatoes
1/2 cup crisp Asian pear, peeled and finely chopped
4 ounces chopped bleu cheese


Vinaigrette: Place dates, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, honey, mustard, salt and pepper in the bowl of a small food processor and puree until smooth. Chill while preparing the salad.

Topping: Combine dates, walnuts, honey, brown sugar and salt in a medium skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until nuts are toasted and mixture is sticky. Transfer to a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and spread out to cool.

Salad: Divide salad greens among 4 small plates. Top with tomatoes and pears. Divide bleu cheese crumbled over the top of each salad. Top each with cooled topping mixture. Drizzle salads with sesame date vinaigrette.

My Fresh Twist recipe contest

If you have an original recipe featuring pecans, walnuts or almonds, submit it to the “My Fresh Twist” recipe contest between Sept. 9 and Oct. 21, 2014, for a chance to win a prize trip for two to New York City to meet Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli. Recipes will be judged on originality, integration of nuts, taste and visual appeal. Each submission will be featured on where Fisher Fans and their friends and families will be able to vote to select the top 15 finalists between Oct. 22 and Nov. 14. Guarnaschelli and a panel of judges will choose the grand prize winner from the top 15 finalists.

Smokey Bacon Mac and Cheese

Smokey Bacon Mac and Cheese

Smokey Bacon Mac and Cheese

Escape a cooking rut with bold flavors the whole family will enjoy

(BPT) – Between busy schedules and family member’s picky eating habits, it’s easy to fall into a cooking rut where you’re preparing the same five recipes every week. Break out of this cycle with a few easy tips that will have you exploring new flavors in no time.

“A well-stocked pantry is the foundation to creating vibrant meals for your family,” says Chef Charlie Baggs, chief executive chef of Charlie Baggs Culinary Innovations. “Having a few staple ingredients like chicken broth, cooking wine, olive oil and soy sauce on hand will make it easier to embrace new and different recipes.”

Follow these simple tips to begin creating unique meals the whole family can enjoy.

* Create a recipe queue. Sites like Allrecipes and Pinterest make it easier than ever to search, categorize and save recipes. Building a recipe collection as you go will make it easier at the beginning of each week to decide what you want to make.

* Use recipes to build your shopping list. Sure you will still need to get staples like milk and eggs, but make sure most of the items on your shopping list are ingredients needed for the recipes you want to make. Putting just a little extra time into planning meals at the beginning of the week will prevent you from reaching for tried and true favorites when you get to the store.

* Stock up on versatile ingredients. Cooking wine is a simple yet versatile ingredient that transforms even the most basic dish into something amazing. Stir into sauces to enhance the color and flavor, add to a saute with vegetables, simmer in a slow cooker or use it as a marinade for a deliciously savory flavor. Sherry cooking wine improves stir-fry sauces, while Marsala cooking wine swirled in creamy soups or gravy adds a subtle nutty flavor. Holland House has a wide variety of cooking wines available at most grocery retailers.

* Put one new item in your grocery cart each week. The produce section is a great place to find seasonal fruits and vegetables that you might never have tried before. Make an effort to step out of your food comfort zone and try one new thing each week.

Looking for a meal that will wow the family tonight? This recipe for Smokey Bacon Mac and Cheese is indulgent yet adaptable for the whole family. The creamy, cheesy gratin is balanced by sherry cooking wine and utilizes all your favorite pantry items.

Smokey Bacon Mac and Cheese

Prep Time: 1 hour


1 pound bacon, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
3/8 cup reserved bacon fat
2 cups large onion, diced
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
5 tablespoons butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Holland House Sherry Cooking Wine
3 quarts milk
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 cups, divided shredded Swiss cheese
1 – 1 pound box Cavatappi pasta


In a large pot bring salted water to a boil to cook the pasta. Cook the pasta until just tender, cool pasta under cold water and reserve.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a medium sized skillet over medium high heat and caramelize the onions with the oil until very brown and soft. Reserve.

Dice the bacon and cook in a large pot until crispy, remove bacon from pot and add butter to the hot bacon fat in the pot. Turn the heat down to medium and once the butter is melted, add the flour and mix until the mixture begins to brown, 3-5 minutes.

Add the Cajun seasoning, Holland House Sherry Cooking Wine, garlic and mustard to the pot and stir until combined. With a whisk slowly add the milk to the pot until it is fully incorporated. Turn heat to medium low and continue to stir until the milk mixture becomes thick like an Alfredo sauce, making sure not to scorch the bottom of the pan.

Add the cheddar cheese and 2 cups of the Swiss cheese while whisking until fully incorporated and then finish with the caramelized onions, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper for seasoning. Puree sauce with stick blender or transfer to blender and blend until smooth.

Turn on broiler to high. Add the sauce to the pasta and mix and place in a casserole dish and top with remaining Swiss cheese and broil until golden brown. Top with crispy bacon bits.

For additional recipes and tips on how to use cooking wine, visit

Create your own mini desserts

Grape Tuxedo Bites

Grape Tuxedo Bites

Every great meal deserves a sweet ending, and since the trend today is ‘dessert decadence in bite-size portions’ a few little mini desserts are the ideal way to cap off festivities. Displayed on your holiday table or served on a platter with festive cookies after dinner, these Grape Tuxedo Bites – offered two ways – are a certain crowd pleaser.

And a bonus: they also make an impressive food gift, nestled in colourful tissue paper and tucked into a holiday-themed tin or container. But best of all, they’re quick to make, call for just a few ingredients, and look so decadent that guests will think you spent hours, not minutes, in the kitchen.

Grape Tuxedo Bites: Chocolate Toffee

Makes 25

25 green or red seedless California grapes

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup finely chopped toffee bits

Put toothpicks into the grapes, set aside. Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment.

In a small double boiler, melt the chocolate and oil together over medium-low heat, stirring until melted, about 5 minutes (or in the microwave on high power 30 seconds, stirring once). Dip the grapes in the chocolate and then in the toffee. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the grapes are used. Chill until set.

Nutritional analysis per dipped grape: Calories 47; Protein .5 g; Carbohydrate 6 g; Fat 3 g; 48% Calories from Fat; Cholesterol 2 mg; Sodium 20 mg; Potassium 22 mg; Fibre .24 g.

Grape Tuxedo Bites: Caramel Peanut

Makes 25

25 green seedless California grapes

½ cup finely chopped salted peanuts

1/2 cup caramel bits or 10 unwrapped caramels

1 tablespoon heavy cream

Put toothpicks into the grapes, set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Place the peanuts in a small bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan, melt the caramel and cream together over medium-low heat, stirring until melted, about 5 minutes. Keep warm. Dip the grapes in the caramel and then in the nuts. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the grapes are used.

Nutritional analysis per dipped grape: Calories 38; Protein 1 g; Carbohydrate 4.5 g; Fat 2 g; 46% Calories from Fat; Cholesterol 1 mg; Sodium 19 mg; Potassium 8 mg; Fibre .3 g.

Japanese-style Peanut Popcorn

Japanese-style Peanut Popcorn

Japanese-style Peanut Popcorn

Score with this unique peanut popcorn snack

Kick your game day snacking up a notch with this exciting peanut-popcorn mix. While wasabi is quite hot, this Japanese-inspired popcorn mixture is not, as the wasabi powder simply adds a unique overall flavour. All of the Japanese ingredients are available at the sushi bar or Asian section of your supermarket.

Japanese-style Peanut Popcorn

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Makes about 6 cups (1.5 L)


1 sheet seaweed (Nori-style)

1 cup (250 ml) peanuts

2 tbsp (30 ml) sesame seeds, preferably black and white

2 tsp (10 ml) peanut oil

3 tbsp (45 ml) popcorn kernels

2 tbsp (30 ml) butter

1½ tsp (7 ml) wasabi powder

½ tsp (2 ml) salt


Using scissors, cut seaweed into ½-inch (1-cm) strips. Stack strips and cut across, into ¼-inch (0.5-cm) pieces. Place in a large bowl along with peanuts and sesame seeds. Stir.

Place oil and popcorn in a medium pot. Cover tightly and shake continuously over medium heat until all kernels are popped. Or if you prefer, prepare popcorn according to the directions on your popcorn maker. Pour into bowl with seaweed.

Melt butter, and stir in wasabi and salt (if using salted peanuts, the salt can be omitted). To best coat, drizzle over peanut and popcorn mixture, while tossing continuously. Taste and add additional salt, if desired.

Additional recipes can be found at

Spicy Peanut Chicken Wings

Spicy peanut wings make the crowd go wild on game day

Spicy Peanut Chicken Wings

Spicy Peanut Chicken Wings

Watching a game while eating wings just can’t be beat. Be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand when you settle in with these spicy, peanutty wings.

Spicy Peanut Chicken Wings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Baking time: 35 to 40 minutes

Makes 2 lbs (1 kg) of wings, to serve 2 to 4


2 lbs (1 kg) chicken wings

½ cup (125 ml) smooth or crunchy peanut butter

¼ cup (60 ml) lime juice

2 tbsp (30 ml) each soy sauce and hoisin sauce

2 tbsp (30 ml) brown sugar, lightly packed

2 to 3 tbsp (30 to 45 ml) hot Chinese chili garlic sauce

1 tbsp (15 ml) hot pepper sauce


Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). If wings are whole, cut in half at joint, then cut off wing tips and discard. Place wings in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk peanut butter with lime juice, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, chili garlic sauce and hot pepper sauce until combined. Toss with wings, stirring occasionally, while oven preheats.

Set 1 or 2 well-greased racks over 1 or 2 foil-lined baking sheets. Place wings skin-side up on racks, making sure to not crowd the wings. Spread any peanut butter mixture left in the bowl all over wings. Discard any sauce still remaining in the bowl after this step. Bake wings, turning halfway through cooking, 35 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired.

Tip: If you like your wings extra spicy, you can add more chili garlic sauce and hot pepper sauce, to taste.

Additional recipes can be found at

Cheeseburger Pizza

Cheeseburger Pizza

Cheeseburger Pizza

Combine everyone’s two favourite takeout orders into one homemade meal you can feel good about serving thanks to a fifty-fifty split of mushrooms and beef.

Serves 8

Prep Time: 20 mins.

Cook Time: 20 mins.


8 oz fresh button Mushrooms

1 tbsp canola oil

1/2 lb lean ground beef

1 pkt Mushroom Seasoning Blend

1/2 tsp each salt and pepper

1 ball prepared pizza dough

1/3 cup tomato sauce

1/3 cup barbecue sauce

1 1/2 cups shredded part skim Mozzarella Cheddar Blend

1 plum tomato, seeded and diced

1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced

1/2 cup shredded lettuce

1/4 cup light mayonnaise

2 tbsp yellow mustard


Place the mushrooms in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until finely chopped. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushroom mixture, ground beef, seasoning blend, salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes until mushroom mixture is browned.

Preheat the oven to 450(F (230(C). Roll the dough out, on a lightly floured surface, into an 18 x 12-inch rectangle; transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Stir the tomato sauce with the barbecue sauce and spread over the dough. Sprinkle cheese over the sauce; top with mushrooms mixture, tomatoes and red onion.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden. Stir the mayonnaise with the mustard. Sprinkle the lettuce over the pizza and drizzle with mayonnaise mixture. Cut into portions and serve immediately.

Tip: Place the mayonnaise mixture into a plastic re-sealable bag and snip off a small portion of the corner. Pipe the mixture over the pizza to get an even drizzle.

For more Mushroom-Beef Blendability recipes visit

Beef Bourguignon Recipe

Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon

Slow-cooked dish with a je ne sais quoi

Cheat your way into preparing this savoury and hearty French classic with the help of a slow-cooker. Keep people guessing how many hours you’ve spent in the kitchen, slowly braising your meat so that it is brought to this tender, melt-in-the-mouth perfection. Your guests will be none the wiser. Bon appétit!

Beef Bourguignon

Servings: 8


2 lbs (1000 g) lean, boneless stewing beef, cut into 1 inch (2 cm) cubes

1 lb (500 g) mini potatoes

4 cups (1 L) quartered mushrooms (about 3/4 lb/350 g)

2 cups (500 ml) sliced onions

1 cup (250 ml) water

2 cups (500 ml) dry red wine

1 pouch (42 g) Club House Slow Cookers Beef Stew Seasoning Mix

2 tsps (10 ml) McCormick Gourmet Smoked Paprika (optional)


Place stewing beef and vegetables in slow cooker.

In bowl, combine water, wine, seasoning mix and smoked paprika (if using). Pour over vegetables and meat. Toss to coat well.

Cover. Cook 8 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH. For best results, do not remove cover during cooking.

Stir before serving.

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