Tim Hortons Gift Card Giveaway

We had a nice family gathering Saturday night. My three children came for Thanksgiving Dinner with their friends. We started the meal with a nice squash and apple potage, then we had turkey, garlic mashed potatoes, maple syrup and butter squash, glazed carrots and fennel and pear salad. For dessert my daughter made a yummy cream cheese pumpkin cake. It was so good.

We like to drink something warm with dessert like tea or coffee. Since I always have nice comments from my readers on social network and my blog I am excited to give one Tim Hortons gift card, valued at $25, to one of my readers.


#PCFWorldElite Twitter Chat!

Are you starting to plan your Thanksgiving Dinner yet? I am. Once the invitations are sent it's too late to cancel and some of you might start to panic just thinking of what to serve your guests. Sounds familiar? This year my family has decided to celebrate on Saturday night. It's never easy to find a day that will be convenient for everyone. We will also host some of my daughter's friends because they don't have family around here. One of them is from Costa Rica and it will be her first Thanksgiving in Canada. How exciting is that?

Thanksgiving Dinner can be overwhelming so whenever it's possible try to involve some of your guests in helping for the big day. In my case my daughter has offered to help me plan the menu, go shopping and cook. How could I refuse this offer?

Speaking of grocery shopping, I like to think of myself as a savvy shopper. I try to buy items on sale whenever I can. You might be surprised to learn that I pay all of my expenses by credit card and you might be wondering why. The main reason is that I love rewards and getting points in exchange of grocery and other items. One credit card that I have been using for years is the President's Choice Financial Mastercard. Whenever I go grocery shopping, I swipe my card before I start to scan my items and it tells me my balance. Then when I pay I can use my points to get free groceries. Let me tell you that it's a good feeling to carry my bags to my car, full of grocery items for the week and that it was almost free.

Recently President's Choice launched a new card: the World Elite MasterCard. I could not wait to find out more details about this credit card because I like the look of the card a lot. But aside from looking good I love the fact that it does not have any annual fees. Yes, you read that right, no annual fees. You might think that's too good to be true. And on top of that I can accumulate PC points faster towards free groceries. Since I'm cooking and baking a lot every week, that's a big bonus for me.

And there are more ways to accumulate points faster with this card. But to find out more about this credit card you will have to join our #PCFWorldElite Twitter Chat on Thursday October 8th at 9 pm EST! We will not only talk about the benefits of this card but we will also share amazing tips to help you plan the perfect Thanksgiving day!

That's not all. As a thank you for joining the chat you will get a chance to win 1 of 7 PC Gift Cards.

Please make sure to join using the #PCFWorldElite hashtag and to follow:

Kathy Buckworth @KathyBuckworth
Rubina Ahmed-haq @AlwaysSaveMoney 
and myself @LaCuisineHelene


Hope to see you Thursday and can't wait to read about your tips to entertaining!

Disclosure: ''This post was sponsored by President's Choice as part of the #PCFWorldElite program. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own'' 


Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

Fall is my favourite season, it's finally colder outside and I like to take long walks in the woods to look at the leaves' gorgeous colors. One of my favourite activities in the fall is to go apple picking. I can spend hours in the orchards taking pictures and eating apples, and then I bring home big bags filled with all different kinds. I usually give some to my parents if I go visit them. Growing up, I could not wait for apple season because I knew my mom would make her famous apple crisp. Because we were a big family she would peel a lot of apples, I still have memories of her doing that at the kitchen table. We sat around the table and helped her after school. I remember that I would eat half of the apples I peeled and put half, in small cubes in a big bowl. My mom would put sugar between layers of apples and a bit of lemon juice. She would then add cinnamon and place the apples in a big pan. She would carefully spread a thick layer of topping made with butter, oats, flour and brown sugar. It was served, warm, after dinner with vanilla ice cream of course!


RSVP for #PVCuisine Twitter Party with @PuertoVallarta, Sept 30th at 9:30PM EDT

*Disclosure: I am participating in a sponsored campaign hosted by Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board and I received compensation for this post, however, all opinions expressed are my own.

Are you dreaming of going somewhere warm this winter yet? When I plan a vacation, eating well is high on my list. What about exploring Puerto Vallarta this year and all it has to offer? They don't only have gorgeous beaches, their gastronomy will please all palates. When Puerto Vallarta's restaurants create dishes, they keep vegetarian and vegan in mind, most dishes can be modified to accommodate their guests. You'll find find in Vallarta a diverse group of restaurants who specialize in vegetarian dishes. Puerto Vallarta is a food lover's paradise!


#CarlsCrew is back! - {and a Subway Gift Card GIVEAWAY}

I'm so happy to be a part of the amazing #CarlsCrew this Fall! For the next four weeks, follow me on Twitter and Facebook as I will be posting weekly challenges. Carl Savard is Subway Canada's Commit to Fit ambassador and he is inspiring us to reach our goals this year. He is a great motivator and I'm impressed with how far he's come in only a couple of years. He is a personal trainer and he ran Ottawa's marathon 16 months after weighing over 300 lbs. He achieved his goal by making healthier choices and becoming more active.



Sloppy Joes Recipe - Back to School is easy as 1,2,3 with Cardinal Ready!

Sloppy Joes

It's already September and most kids are going back-to-school. For some parents, after spending a nice summer with their children, they are more than ready to see them leave, in the morning, to go learn and meet new friends. For most of you back-to-school means frantic schedules with your kids in extra-curricular activities after school like hockey, music, dance or other activities.

Some parents come home after work and only have ten to twenty minutes to prepare a meal. Just thinking of what they will feed their family that night can be overwhelming. That's why meal planning is important and can be done during the weekend. It will save you time at night and at the grocery store. One way to help with your meal planning is to have a chalkboard in the kitchen and write your menu on it. Then write a list of things to buy at the grocery store. I find that an app on my iPhone is the best for doing that. When planning your weekly meals, get the kids involved and ask them what they would like to eat. They often come up with great suggestions and you will not waste the food because they will be looking forward to eat what's on the menu that night.


Greek Yogurt Jalapeño Guacamole - What's Cooking?

Greek Yogurt Jalapeño Guacamole

In the summer I just love to stop at farmers' stand along the road and buy what they have freshly picked that day. I know how hard they work because I was raised on a farm myself. After supper, my mom would tell us that our dessert was to go work in the vegetable garden. We had a big one. At the time, we did not realize how lucky we were to be able to just go outside and pick our own veggies. I still remember how amazing a freshly picked tomato smells and tastes. It so good I can't even describe it! We often had different kinds of vegetable sandwiches for lunch: one day was cucumber, the next tomato or radishes. It was delicious!


Sweet Potatoes with Salt and Olive Oil - {and a GIVEAWAY}

Sweet Potatoes with Salt and Olive Oil

If you're like me, I'm sure at some point you've asked yourself if you needed a dehydrator. Years ago they were very popular and to be completely honest, I bought one and used it only a couple of times. Because we were moving all the time from province to province, I eventually decided to give it to someone. Did I regret my decision over the years? Maybe a few times. Having said that, I recently received a Hamilton Beach Food Dehydrator and that completely changed my mind. My first impression was that this model looked much nicer than my old dehydrator. Because we love to eat healthy, I have been buying Terra Chips instead of chips for my evening snacks. They're really good but also pricey, so I only buy a bag every once in a while. It will come at no surprise to you that the first time I used my dehydrator I tried to make Sweet Potatoes. Actually, I wanted to dehydrate Taro or Yuca but could not find them in any of the three stores I usually shop at. I might have to go to an ethnic grocery store in town to find them.


Protect your Family with Mortgage Critical Illness Insurance

It's hard to talk about illness because you don't want it to happen to your loved ones and you don't want anyone around you getting sick. In the past years, unfortunately, we lost family members to cancer. One of them was in excellent shape and we never saw it coming. He had to battle cancer for years. When a person is critically sick, it has drastic effects on families, not only mentally, but also financially. It does change your lifestyle and you will encounter unexpected expenses.

I remember when my husband and I got married, years ago, we had a dream of owning a house one day. The first couple years of our marriage we rented homes and we put some money aside in a savings account for our down payment. All I could think about was having a property in our name to raise our family of three children. It took five years of savings before we were ready to enter the housing market. I was so excited, and at the same time, so nervous to be making such an investment. I definitely lost some sleep over it. You know that feeling of having knots in your stomach, because you're not sure you're making the right decision, and you don't want to forget anything the day you sign the important documents in the lawyer's office? We were borrowing a lot of money and one of the things that crossed my mind was: what if one of us becomes sick and we can't make our payments for our mortgage? We were young and healthy, but you never know what could happen. Even if you do feel great one day, your health can change pretty quickly at times, and you could be diagnosed with something completely unexpected.

At the time, I tried to read as much as I could about what kind of insurance to get in case something were to happen to us but it was hard to get good information. Things have changed over the years, and now, thanks to the internet, you can do research on mortgage insurance and make a clear, informed decision to protect your family. It's so important.


What's Cooking? - Antipasto Loaf

Antipasto Loaf

It was my daughter's birthday yesterday, so I took her to a local restaurant for lunch. It seems like it was only yesterday that I gave birth to her on a very hot summer day in Edmonton, Alberta. Now she is a grown woman. She is funny, smart, and I always tell her that she is my favourite daughter (my other kids are boys!). Having a summer baby meant that we spent a lot of time outside. We enjoyed taking her to parks, we always brought a big blanket and picnic basket. Since she was our first child, it was easy to take her everywhere with us.