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Tuesday 23rd November 2021.

November 23, 2021

Valentino and Alessio Mini.


Put on your safety belt, in the eight o’clock hour today my guest is Valentino Mini who got third position in the Formula 4 Mexico Grand prix pre race.  We chat about how he got there, the experience and where from here.



Feisty Foodie Sara.

Feisty Foodie Sara.  Well…it’s finally the week of Thanksgiving and I hope everyone’s turkeys are well on their way to being thawed, if they aren’t thawed already!  We also have Hannukah starting next Monday, so we’ll cover my favourite classic recipe for that as well!

We’ve talked about the whole menu including our turkey prep and it’s finally time to talk about making a Homemade Oven-Roasted Turkey!  I like to add potatoes and root veggies around the base of it, if I have room!

For Thanksgiving dessert, I thought we could do something simpler than pie, but with the same flavours…Pecan Pie Bars with a Shortbread Crust.  I really love shortbread…and who are we kidding, the best part of the pie is the filling, so this is like 2 desserts in one!  Top with some vanilla ice cream and you’re good to go!

Our perfect Thanksgiving cocktail is a Cranberry Margarita!  Sugared cranberries make this drink look super festive!

For Hannukah, the festival of lights…our most traditional dish is perfectly crispy Potato Latkes!  The oil we cook in represents the oil that burned for 8 nights.  Personally, I think these would also make a great side dish for Thanksgiving too!

Homemade Oven-Roasted Turkey


1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 thawed turkey (10 to 12 pounds)

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 large bunch fresh thyme

1 whole lemon, halved

1 Spanish onion, quartered

1 head garlic, halved crosswise


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the zest and juice of the lemon and 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves to the butter mixture. Set aside. Take the giblets out of the turkey and wash the turkey inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, halved lemon, quartered onion, and the garlic. Brush the outside of the turkey with the butter mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey. Roast the turkey about 2 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil; let rest for 20 minutes.

Slice the turkey and serve.

Note:  If the turkey was brined before, omit the salt from this recipe.

Pecan Pie Bars


3/4 cup (175 mL) unsalted butter, frozen
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (125 mL) light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

2 cups (500 mL) pecans
1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter
1 cup (250 mL) light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup (80 mL) honey
2 tbsp (30 mL) 35% cream
1/2 tsp (2 mL) flaky salt (such as Maldon) for garnish


Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
For a shortbread base, using a cheese grater, grate butter into a bowl, or use a food processor with the blade attachment. Add all other ingredients and mix or pulse until pea-sized lumps form. Pour into a greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch (33 x 23 x 5-cm) baking pan and press evenly into the bottom. Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
While baking, prepare the topping. Coarsely chop pecans by hand or in a food processor. In a heavy-bottom pot, melt 1/2 cup (125 mL) butter and stir in sugar, honey and cream. Simmer for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve brown sugar. Add pecans and stir to coat.
Take the shortbread base out of the oven and pour in the pecan mixture, spreading evenly. Bake in the middle of the oven until bubbling, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely in the pan. As it cools but is not completely set, sprinkles with flaky salt. When cool, cut into 24 bars. Keep in an airtight container for up to 7 days at room temperature, or tightly wrapped and frozen for up to 6 months.

Makes 24 bars

Potato Latkes


1 pound potatoes, grated

1/2 cup chopped onion, finely grated

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 ½ tbsp matzoh meal or flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Black Pepper

1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil or peanut oil


Preheat oven to 250°F.

Peel potatoes and coarsely grate by hand, transferring to a large bowl of cold water as grated. Soak potatoes 1 to 2 minutes after last batch is added to water, then drain well in a colander. Grate onion on fine side of the grater.

Spread grated potatoes and onion on a kitchen towel and roll up jelly-roll style. Twist towel tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible. Transfer potato mixture to a bowl and stir in egg, matzoh meal, salt and a few shakes of black pepper.

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 4 latkes, spoon 2 tablespoons potato mixture per latke into skillet, spreading into 3-inch rounds with a fork. Reduce heat to moderate and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes. Turn latkes over and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to paper towels to drain and season with salt. Add more oil to skillet as needed. Keep latkes warm on a wire rack set in a shallow baking pan in oven.  Serve hot with sour cream, apple sauce or ketchup.

Cranberry Margaritas

This summery classic gets a festive twist thanks to the addition of cranberries and rosemary.

Kosher salt for rimmer
Lime wedge for rimmer
2 oz tequila
1 oz lime juice
¾ oz Cranberry Rosemary Syrup (see below)
3 Sugared Cranberries for garnish (see below)
Rosemary sprig for garnish

Place salt on a small plate. Rub a lime wedge around outside rim of a chilled margarita or rocks glass, then press the dampened rim into salt. Pour tequila, lime juice and syrup into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice. Shake vigorously then strain into prepared glass filled with ice. Garnish with a skewer of sugared cranberries and rosemary sprig.

Makes 1 cocktail

Place 1¼ cup (310 mL) water, 1 cup (250 mL) sugar, ¾ cup (175 mL) fresh or frozen cranberries and 1 orange peel strip in a small pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until steaming and sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring and pressing cranberries gently with spoon until flavours and colour infuses mixture, about 5 minutes. Add a large rosemary sprig, remove from heat and let cool. Strain into a resealable jar. Reserve cranberries. If making ahead, syrup will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 week.

Place ¾ cup (175 mL) sugar in a bowl. Using a slotted spoon, add a few cranberries at a time to sugar. Shake and turn to coat all cranberries evenly. Remove cranberries to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let dry at least 2 hours.

Makes approximately 1½ cups (375 mL) syrup and a handful of sugared cranberries for garnishing

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