Category Archives: Fruit

Eat more fish!

Fish is good for you. It’s low in fat, high in Omega-3, and a good source of protein.

OK, if it’s so fabulous, then why don’t we eat it more often?

You’re probably saying … “I don’t like fish.” Well, I have a recipe that might surprise you. Most people like fresh pineapple. And there’s something about tangy fruit salsa served with baked fish that is hard to resist.

Are you thinking … “every time I try to cook fish it never works out.”

Maybe you don’t have a reliable recipe that makes delicious, moist fish time after time … I’ve got the answer for you, and it’s much easier than you think 🙂

Start with two medium sized fillets. These ones are from the regular grocery store. You can also buy your fish from a fish shop, or poissonnerie.

I’m using trout, but you could use salmon…

Line a baking dish with tin foil.

Remove the fish from the package and place directly on the foil. Don’t bother trying to remove the fish skin now, as it comes off easier once cooked.

To make the fruit salsa, you’ll need tiny pieces of pineapple, and fresh mango …
… mixed together with a very little bit of chopped jalapeno and some finely chopped red onion.
To make the dressing, you need some fresh lime juice, honey, spices, and some olive oil.
Pour the dressing over the fruit salsa, and stir to combine the flavours.
Bake the fish while you’re making rice and asparagus. This dinner is ready to eat in about 28 minutes.

Price per serving $3.45 for the fish and salsa; $4.11 with the rice and asparagus.

These 7 images are just a sampling of the 15 photos that make up the step-by-step illustrated lesson for Trout with Fruit Salsa (Recipe 1.8) . The complete recipe lesson is available in Successful Home Cooking. My goal? To help you become a successful at-home cook. To order your copy of the 122-page full-colour book, click here.

If you have any questions about fish or anything else, just send me a note. You can always reach me at

All best wishes, and bon appetit!

Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu,

Owner & Head Chef

Sherri writes …

“I have been cooking for over 40 years, and I probably have over 400 cookbooks, but I’ve never seen anything like Successful Home Cooking. I made your Chicken Tandoori recipe and I followed the lesson exactly, and it was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before! I might have lots of cookbooks, but they’re all the same. I am much more likely to make one of your recipes because I know you’ve tried it, and that you recommend it, and that I will learn something new, and best of all – that I will be successful.” – Sherri from Halifax, Nova Scotia


Homemade strawberry jam

Yesterday morning we drove to a farm just outside Montreal to pick fresh strawberries. Making strawberry jam once a year is part of my beginning-of-summer routine. If you’ve never tasted fresh jam before, there’s nothing like it. And if you’ve never made jam before, I have a few pictures to inspire you to try 🙂

Head off to your nearest U-pick strawberry farm.(Or you can buy your berries at the grocery store or farmer’s market.)
Pick at least 4 quarts (4 litres) to make two batches of jam.We picked one basket for jam, and a second basket for eating.
Try not to get carried away!
There are always more berries hiding… you can’t take them all home.
Jam is really easy, you just need a big pot, some Certo (pectin), and some sugar. Add rhubarb if you’d like to make a tangy strawberry-rhubarb jam.
Get your glass jars out of storage (or buy a new box).I like these 2-cup jars, not too big, not too small.
Wash the jars and the lids in hot soapy water.
After you’ve washed your jars, put about 1″ of water in each, put on a tray, and stick in a warm oven to sterilize while you prepare the berries.
Rinse berries, remove the green stems, and put a few in a big bowl.Crush in small batches with a potato masher, or a pastry blender.
Measure out the crushed berries. My recipe needed 4.5 cups of squished berries.
Make sure your pot is big enough for the jam to double in size while it is boiling. It’s like a scene from a movie!
When the jam is cooling, skim the foam off the top with a metal spoon.
If you have a funnel, it makes getting the jam into the jars just a little bit easier.
After you’ve put the lids on, turn the jars upside-down for 15 minutes (set your timer). This prevents the fruit from quickly settling to the bottom of the jar.
Now that you’re finished, you just need to decide who you’re going to give them to as gifts…

The recipe I use for strawberry jam and for strawberry-rhubarb jam is from the inside of the Certo (pectin) package. I’ll tell you one thing about making homemade jam, once you get started, it’s hard to stop! There are recipes for blueberry jam, crabapple jelly, and orange marmalade…

If you have any jammy questions, just send me a note. You can always reach me at

All best wishes, and bon appetit!

Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu, Owner & Head Chef

“I love the pictures! I made the roast chicken and had a friend over for dinner, and it was totally successful and delicious!” (T. Williamson, Georgia)

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Dead bananas

I am unusually picky about bananas. As far as I’m concerned, there’s only a 2-day window in which bananas are OK to eat: when they’re perfectly yellow. Not green. Definitely not brown. Even yellow with speckly brown bits isn’t good. I can’t do it.

Yes, I know the banana is a perfect snack. Good cut up with yogurt, great with peanut butter and whole wheat toast. But brown bananas are double ick, too sweet, really I can’t even pretend to eat them. There are some things you can eat to be polite … this isn’t one of them.

OK, so what to do with the leftover bits of banana. When cutting up for toast, using only a half, what to do? Or when you buy 4, because they’re on sale, then only eat one, the others slipping away into the brown wilderness, inedible. Can’t throw them out.

I freeze them.

Whole, in their skins, just toss them in (they go completely black when frozen). Let them thaw at room temperature later, on a dinner plate, drain off the liquid, then they’re good to go for banana bread (I have a great recipe with pecans and chocolate chips on top), ban-muffins (with or without chocolate chips), and low fat ban-cranberry oatmeal cookies.

And on days when I’m feeling like I need a particularly healthy snack, or when I’m starving and it’s not really suppertime yet, I make a smoothie with the chunks of dead frozen banana.


You need a blender for this. Toss into your blender the following:

  • ½ cup plain yogurt, fat free is healthier (other flavours work, too)
  • ½ of a frozen dead banana (best if cut up into chunks and frozen in a little bag, otherwise the blender has a hard time with a giant frozen banana piece)
  • ½ cup orange juice (or orange mango, grapefruit is too sour, punch drinks have too much added sugar)
  • ½ cup skim milk to thin the mixture enough so that it will blend properly
  • ½ cup of any other miscellaneous fruit

Put the top on the blender, and mix until it’s ready to drink.

I add in whatever else is in my freezer, other dead fruit bits, things rescued and cut up just before they go bad, like a few strawberries, or the end of a fresh pineapple. They just wait in the freezer until needed. Of course, you can also buy frozen fruit mixes in bags from the grocery store and keep for just such emergencies.

If you don’t have frozen banana bits, you can use other frozen bits and some fresh dead banana. Just make sure that some part of this concoction is frozen, otherwise it won’t really get that milkshake consistency when blended.

You may have to add a little bit more milk if it’s too thick and the blender starts to protest. Or if it turns out to be too thick to pour. I like strawberry-ban smoothies, and blueberry-ban. If you don’t have yogurt, you can use ice cream, which in fact tastes better, but isn’t really diet food, whereas the rest of this smoothie is pretty darn healthy.

Somehow this magically erases all of the bad tastes of dead banana. When drinking a smoothie, I feel quite self-righteous, healthy, super healthy, in fact. It’s an amazing thing. Where I wouldn’t touch a dead banana with a ten foot pole, here, with this drink, I actually feel super human. Anyone watching their caloric intake will be happy to have only natural sugars. Small kids think they’re getting a milkshake and don’t know that you’re sneaking in extra daily fruit servings.

Imagine what you could do with a bit of planning… every time you buy blueberries and there’s a few soft ones in the bottom, toss them in a bag in the freezer. The last squishy strawberries. The mango that went soft before you could finish it. And of course, the dead bananas. Blech.

You can always reach me at

Thanks and bon appetit!

Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu, Owner & Head Chef

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