Brownie Sundae on a Stick with Hot PB Fudge Sauce

Brownie Sundae On A Stick with Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Sauce. March Break munching done right!  Click here for the recipe.

Just because you’re spending March Break staycationing at home – does not mean you can’t enjoy resort/restaurant style dishes under your own roof!  Whether you’re heading out for a day on the slopes, museum, or hanging around binge watching your favourite show – you deserve to be well fed.  The following recipes are a great excuse to get busy in the kitchen during March Break.  Forget take-out, roll up your sleeves, and have some family fun in the kitchen preparing vacation style dishes.  I had a blast on Toronto’s Breakfast Television sharing my go-to staycation meals that anyone can recreate at home ~ Happy March Break eating!

Caramelized Apple and Muskoka Maple Syrup Muesli

This might be the easiest, and most delicious hotel/spa inspired breakfast you will ever prepare.  Start your day off on the right foot with this make ahead muesli featuring Ontario apples and maple syrup.  Morning oats never tasted so good!

2 tbsp. (30 mL) butter

3 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (about 3 cups (750 mL) sliced apples)

2 tbsp. (30 mL) brown sugar + pinch cinnamon

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat; cook apples, stirring occasionally, until very tender and light golden, about 5 minutes.  Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon.  Cook for an additional minute or two, until sugar has melted.  Transfer to bowl; let cool.

1 cup (250 mL) large flake oats

1 McIntosh apple, cored and diced (*skin can be left on)

2 tbsp. (30 mL) each; ground flaxseed and chia seeds

½ cup (125 mL) dried blueberries (*or dried cranberries)

1/2 tsp (2 mL) each; ground cinnamon and ground ginger

1 cup (250 mL) plain Greek style yogurt

¾ cup (175 mL) orange juice

3 tbsp. (45 mL) Canadian maple syrup (*or to taste)

2 tsp (10 mL) pure vanilla extract

1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated orange zest

¼ cup (60 mL) shelled sunflower seeds

Garnish: ¼ cup (60 mL) thinly sliced candied ginger

Place all ingredients (*except for seeds and candied ginger) in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.  Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.  When ready to serve, stir in seeds. Garnish each portion evenly with candied ginger.  Yields 4 cups (1 L).  Makes 8, ½ cup (125 mL) servings. 

Double Decadent Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

Warm up after a day of winter activities with a DIY coffee house inspired sip.  Click here for the recipe.


Cheers! Chocolate meets peanut butter in a mug.

Spicy Surf & Turf Squash Ragout

A delectable slow cooker supper with a classic twist.

1lbs (500 g) boneless stewing beef cut in 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces

3 cups (750 mL) seeded and chopped acorn squash (*skin can be left on)

1 sweet red pepper, seeds removed and chopped

1/2 cup (125 mL) each; beef broth and orange juice

2 tbsp. (30 mL) minced fresh ginger

2 tbsp. (30 mL) cornstarch

2 tbsp. (30 mL) each; dried parsley and dried rosemary leaves

1 tbsp. (15 mL) minced garlic

½ tsp (2 mL) crushed red pepper flakes

¼ tsp (1 mL) salt

1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated fresh orange zest

1 lb (500 g) medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined (about 25 to 30 medium shrimp)

Place all ingredients (*except for orange zest and shrimp) in a slow cooker and stir.  Cover, and cook on low heat for about 7 hours (*or, on high for about 4 hours).  Stir in orange zest and shrimp and cook for an additional 20 minutes on low (*or 10 minutes on high) or until shrimp are cooked through.  Stir well before serving.  Serve with rutabaga mash.  Makes about 6 cups (1.5 L) of ragout.  

Rutabaga Mash

Give spuds a rest this March Break and whip up mashed rutabaga – a perfect side to stew, roast beef or ragout.

1 tbsp. (15 mL) vegetable oil

1 white onion, sliced

3 tbsp. (45 mL) Canadian maple syrup

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

hefty pinch ground nutmeg and ground cardamom

1 rutabaga (about 3 lbs), peeled and chopped in cubes

2 cups (500 mL) vegetable stock or water

1 tsp (5 mL) each; minced fresh garlic and minced fresh ginger

⅓ cup (75 mL) chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Cook onion until soft and slightly brown about 3 to 5 minutes. Add maple syrup, salt, nutmeg and cardamom.  Add rutabaga and stock, scraping any bits from bottom of pot. Simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes or until rutabaga is very fork tender.  Stir in garlic and ginger.  Remove from heat. Cool slightly.  Using a potato masher, mash rutabaga until desired consistency.  Reheat when ready to serve, and stir in parsley.  Makes about 4 cups (1 L).  

Click here for more of Charmaine’s March Break inspired recipes for active kids on-the-go!

Charmaine is a regular guest on Rogers Daytime York Region, CHCH Morning Live, Canada AM & Breakfast DSC_1081Television and food writer for Running Room Magazine sharing her love and enthusiasm for all things food, cooking and running.

Charmaine is a proud ambassador of Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon: a celebration of Women & Fitness, come join in the FUN June 6th, 2016.  Hope to see many of you at the start line in 2016!  Click here to register.

Most importantly; Charmaine is the mother of two active boys, Tyler & Colgan.

Charmaine understands the importance of preparing healthy, wholesome dishes all while keeping budget and time in mind. For more tasty recipes visit