Eating Healthy is becoming Impossible

In the last little while, as I have been venturing off to the grocery store to do my weekly shopping for food and other necessities for the home, I have noticed that eating healthy is becoming impossible with the huge price hike of fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods. It has been absolutely crazy.

Doctors, dietitians, health pros keep telling us to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, but they should also realize that groceries are not cheap anymore. Many years ago, it was decent, you could go a long way to stretch your dollar, but now food, cost of living is increasing. People have to work harder to make a buck, and that is just ridiculous.

I do not care, food should never be expensive and on top of all that, people need to pay food tax too. Some people are buying less healthy foods in other aisles of what they can afford. I remember one time I was shopping at my local store, and I was in the canned food aisle with the high sodium soups and those ready made noodle ramen soups as well as pasta and rice and all that, also aisles with sugar based foods, I couldn’t help overhearing these 2 people talking to each other saying, “I have been trying to get healthy, but I cannot afford it, the prices for healthy food is insane, so to feed my family, I have to do anything and everything, so I got to do what I can”. It broke my heart. Life has become so difficult. It is unbelievable.

These governments and those who control the prices for our food, should think about all the people that need to dig into their pockets a lot more, but I do not think they care about people at all, as long as they make the money, who cares the health condition of people?

If all these professionals are promoting and expecting us to eating healthy, then they should back us up and offer us coupons, or better yet to work with the government and these food companies, farms that these veggies and fruit come from to come up with a plan that healthy eating is important and where obesity, overweight people can be motivated more when they see prices becoming more reasonable.

For cauliflower now, it is at a staggering $6.00, then for apples it is almost $4.00 for the bag, and there the total is now $10 just for 2 items. For a bag of onions is like $3.50, for red, orange, and yellow peppers is $2.97 a pound. So on and so forth. So with tax and everything it comes up to $20 or more for those things. fruits and veggies should not be more than 1 dollar or $1.50 at the most. They are fooling us.

No wonder why people are so stressed out. I am planning on setting up a petition online to decrease prices for food and to encourage people to eat healthier.

What do you think about it?

Talin’s Mouth-watering 2 Layer Penne Lasagna

I know you are probably thinking Penne Lasagna? I’ve made that possible. Who says that you always need to put Lasagna dough sheets to make Lasagna? Not to me. As long as you have Pasta Noodles of any kind that is large to mid size. I am not saying the Acini De Peppe, Orzo, and small noodles you use for soup and all that. I am saying Penne, Spaghetti, even Rotini. I have tried, tested and tasted. It is delicious! Well, let’s get started.

Depending on the number of people that you are serving in your family or your friends. It is in your preference.
This is for a family or friends of 4 or 5.

You will need:

– 900g of Penne Rigate Package (depends on your pan size as well and number of people)
– **Onions or Garlic are Optional. (It is your choice)**
– Oregano
– Basil
– Tomato Paste
– Tomato’s
Mozzarella Cheese
– Parmesan Cheese
– Cottage Cheese
– Extra Lean Ground Beef
– Sea Salt – (Never use table salt) **To your added preference**
– Grinded Black cracked Pepper
– All Spice

To begin:

1) Mash the extra Lean Ground beef into small pieces, cook it well done in a pan. That is where you will add just the Tomato Paste and Sea Salt. add about 4tblsp full of tomato paste and 1 and a half tsp of sea salt. (Add water, but not too much) You do not want your Lasagna to be Soggy. Add just enough to mix the tomato paste with them together.

2) In a separate small mixing bowl add 1 tbsp Oregano, as well as Basil, and all spice – Mix them together

3) Wash and Slice 4 fresh tomato’s – use Tomato on a Vine or Roma Tomatoes. put them aside.

4) In a mixing bowl add the grated Mozzarella Cheese and Cottage cheese. Mix it together.

To make the Penne:

1) Make sure you put a little more than half a large pot of water

2) Boil the water and put Sea Salt and as soon as it boils, add the Penne. (Never put any kind of noodles in a non-boiled water, it will stick to the bottom of the pot and stick to the other noodles)

3) Immediately stir the Penne so that all the noodles will become tender evenly and keep mixing ever 2-3 minutes. Let it boil on medium heat for about 10 minutes. If it needs more time, then go to about 11-12 minutes. MAX. (Do not overcook and make it mushy. Take it out while it’s al dente)

4) Drain and set aside to make 2 equal parts of the Penne Rigate, but first Mix the ground beef/tomato paste mix with the penne before Parting them. Add the Oregano, Basil and All spice mix with them as well.
In a Medium to Large Pyrex Pan:

1) Add cooking oil spray to the whole pan.

2) Add the first layer of the Penne and even it out.

3) Add the cheese mix – then Put Parmesan Cheese

4) Add the layer of the Tomato’s

– **for the Last layer – Repeat Steps 2-4 but add #4 first, then #3– Add the Parmesan Cheese last.


Oven Settings:

– Bring the Oven to Convection – to 375 degrees before you put the Lasagna in.

– Let it cook for 30 Minutes

and there you have it.
Penne Lasagna. Bon Appetit! Enjoy!

Memories Flamenco Resort – All Inclusive is Beyond Excellent

In November of 2014 after the anticipation and impatiently waiting for my southern destination vacation to Cayo Coco, Cuba from November 27 to December 4, 2014 to Memories Flamenco Beach Resort, I automatically fell in love with it when I saw the pictures and did extensive research about Memories Resorts. From the moment I landed and arrived at Jardines Del Rey Airport in Cayo Coco with Sunwing Airlines, I knew it was going to be an excellent week. I just felt it from Toronto Pearson’s YYZ Airport.

As we had checked into Cuba after the customs/Aduana, We ventured off to the Transgaviota Bus to take us to Memories Flamenco Resort, but before we boarded the bus, our rooms and wristbands for the week was all ready for us and very well organized and prepared. From then on, I fell in love with the resort and the excellent service so far. As we arrived to Memories, we were greeted with a welcome cocktail drink in the front lobby area before getting our baggage and the memories Managers and team leaders greeted us happily with friendly smiles which warmed my heart. They are beautiful people whom I had the pleasure of meeting and spending this beautiful week with, which went by so quickly.

All vacations go by so quickly. The resort was so beautiful, everything, the layout, the convenience and everything was greatly thought of. Everything is close by with the bars, restaurants, lobby, the pool, the beach, and easy access to everywhere which was incredible. The food was delicious, clean and the bartenders, waiters and the cooks worked so hard, quickly and efficiently. The place is so spotless and everything is awesome. I also love how the managers, the resort administration staff, the customer service managers were walking all around the resort to ensure that everybody is having a fabulous time and everything is well taken care of.

I couldn’t believe how fast the bartenders, and waiters were. They were faster than the speed of lightning. I do not know how they have so much energy to do that for so many hours. They work so hard and come to work everyday from Ciego De Avila or Moron cities which they travel an hour and a half each way just to make ends meet. They only make so much in a month, and they are always happy and smiling and with a great attitude. They are so friendly and give great customer service. I appreciate them so much and I thank them. God bless them all and continue to give them energy. It is not easy to take care of so many guests, their requests and everything. It is not easy to tend to so many people at once. I have a tremendous respect for each and everyone of them. I was so observant the whole vacation and I tell you, It was awesome.

Our rooms were spotless, everyday I would get freshly washed towels, mopped floors, the bathroom and beds were super clean with new sheets, as well as my fridge stocked daily with water, cola’s, beer/Cristal cervesa’s, and everyday I’d walk into beautiful decorated towels with flowers on them. I was amazed. Best resort I have been to in all the times I have been to Cuba. This was my 12th trip to Cuba. this was by far the best. The resort was super clean with cleaners and housekeepers working around the clock to upkeep the resort. The public washrooms were spotless, the staff presence 24 hours a day was comforting as well.

There are some points though that need to be improved, but its just the beach area needs a little work, which I am told that it is still under construction because its a new resort of over 4 years old and they will be completing it within the year and then just the lighting around the walk ways and the pool area so people will not slip and fall, but no other issues… They will be working on all of that which I heard.

I made new friends from parts of Ontario and Quebec also from the UK, and partied at the disco, got to enjoy the snack bar and all the restaurants, the a la carte restaurants which I booked from the first day and got to enjoy the whole resort. A week sometimes is not enough. 2 weeks is the best way to really enjoy it all thoroughly without rushing to do everything all in one week. Time permitting and it depends on a person’s personal budget and finances and convenience of course. it all depends on your preference.

The entertainment, disco, the nightly shows and audience participation was excellent, there is a Cuban night where people learn about Cuba and then the entertainers give us traditional Cuban dances and give us a crash course on Cuban culture and history.

Everything else is excellent and excellent does not even describe this beautiful resort. Unfortunately when it came time to the last day to leave the warm tropical weather, 3 bus loads of people who were on our flight back to Toronto, The resort manager and other managers greeted us farewell by putting on their memories resorts theme song and gave us a speech before we took off to the airport which left an unforgettable and long lasting impression on my family and I. I cannot wait until I return back to Cuba and to Memories. I am impatiently waiting until my next voyage. I give this resort a 6 star. Not a 4 and a half to 5 stars. Thank you Memories Flamenco resort staff. You all put the most beautiful touch to an awesome and lovely week in warm weather and so much more.

Thank you for giving us memories to cherish for the rest of our lives.

Do you go on all inclusive resorts? Do you travel to sunny destinations for a getaway to relax and enjoy the hot weather? What resort have you been to? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? Would love to hear your stories.

Sushi, Sashimi, Wasabi, Maki Rolls – Love Asian Food

In the many years I have heard about sushi, the maki rolls and Japanese style cuisine, I told myself that I will never try sushi ever in my life and I will stay away from it because I am thinking about all the raw fish and everything and how I do not like things raw, but then I said let’s go to an all you can eat Sushi place, and so I decided, you know what? Why not, so I went and I had the Sushi and I fell in love with it. Now I am so addicted to all that, the Miso Soup, The California, Avocado Rolls, Dragon Rolls, Volcano, there are so many names for them. I tried the Salmon, Tempura, noodles, seaweed green salad, and so much more. I always said that I won’t try it, but now I can’t get enough of sushi. Its healthy and good for you and its so tasty and when you put it in the soya sauce, its extra tasty. I have become a sushi expert now. Been to that restaurant like 10 or more times. Once you get hooked, you will want to go all the time.

My first Sushi experience, my great friend showed me the ins and outs on what to order, the best things on the menu and choosing and selecting different types of sushi’s and rolls for me to try. The first time i went I went with the simple ones, then. They bring you tea when you get into the restaurant, they put soya sauce and this green very spicy hot dip named wasabi where you mix it with your soya sauce to make it have a kick to it, they bring you a little bit of a salmon too. The second time when we went to sushi, I had the more advanced type of sushi and I loved it all. It was so yummy and it depends on how they are made. You can’t eat sushi everywhere.

I always like to try new things and I am very happy and excited that my great friend introduced me to it. I want to try to make sushi myself so that when I entertain at home, we can have a sushi night all prepared by me. I might take a course or learn to do it from online. Maybe I can become a sushi chef later on in future, but now I will just stick to the all you can eat Sushi place I go to. When we went to all you can eat, you could eat as much dessert you want like mango or mousse cake, green tea ice cream or different varieties of them, and as well as you have a selection of soft drinks to choose from as well. There was just a place mat style menu and anything on there you can eat as much as you want.

If you order too much and you leave sushi, maki rolls or something on the plate and do not eat them, depending on the place, they charge you if you leave them. They try not to waste any food.

Now, you can’t try sushi from anywhere. Do not buy the ones in the sushi boxes you see at the malls or whatever. When you go to a sushi restaurant, observe that there is no fish smells, and make sure they bring it fresh to you. Not in a box because you never know how long the ones in the box sits for. always be cautious and mindful of where you buy it.

I love Asian food. Not only Sushi, Sashimi, Maki Rolls, The Wasabi Sauce with Soya Sauce, I love Shanghai Noodles, Korean BBQ Where the waiters bring you the raw meat and you cook it right in front of you sometimes. Depends which restaurant you go to, I also love Vietnamese food, Pho, Pad Thai, Vegetable Pad Thai, Chicken Pad Thai, and other foods. Do you like the peanut and peanut butter sauce you dunk your shrimp and veggie rolls? I get excited when I go to a Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, restaurants. I can eat this weekly. I want to go eat Asian food now. I am craving it.

Do you like sushi and other Asian food? What do you mostly enjoy?

Talin’s — Favourite Sweet Tahini Bread Swirls

Many Years ago, I was at my Armenian Community Center and there was a Bazaar like a flea market type of event, and a couple of days before I went and assisted the Armenian Women’s Guild Group to make Sweet Tahini Bread Swirls to sell, So I learned how to make it from the Armenian Ladies and perfected it. So, I decided to write down the recipe to make it at home. I was so glad I did. It is incredibly tasty, and I enjoy making this. Although I have not made it in over a year, but I was thinking about it today, so I want to make it again this week, and Sweet Tahini Swirls are good anytime, any day. You can serve this with Coffee, Tea, Armenian Coffee, or at anytime. You can have it for Breakfast, or for a snack, whenever your heart desires. Well, Here is the recipe for this delicious dessert.

This is counted as 4 Bread Swirls of 16 Cm’s, but you can play around with the amounts according to how many you are making.


Made some modifications, but full credit goes to the site above


  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 120 ml lukewarm water
  • 200 gr all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • 4 small tbsp tahini
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 4x tsp olive oil
  • 4x tsp cinnamon

Use Flour on countertop or big cutting board to work with the dough and filling.

Make the dough

Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water, and add the sugar and oil. Add the flour, a handful at a time. Quickly knead into a floppy, flexible dough that does not stick to the hands anymore. Leave covered in a bowl for about 2 or 3 hours, to rise. As all the air will be rolled out of it later, the stretchiness of the dough is more important than the amount of air in it.

Follow the Following Steps.

tahini scrolls production

When the dough has had some time to rise, divide it into four balls. Roll out one ball at a time, into a rough rectangle of “pizza thickness” – about 2 or 3 mm (1). Scatter the teaspoon of olive oil over it. I combined the tahin with the sugar, added a teaspoon of finely ground lemon rind (packet) to that, and scattered the somewhat dryer tahin mixture, like crumbs, over the dough surface (2). Dust the tahin-sugar layer with cinnamon. Gently press it flat with the back of a spoon. You’re now ready to roll.

Pre-heat the oven to 190° C. If you use a baking stone, put it in the middle rack.

Dust the worktop with a bit of castor sugar and flour to help with the rolling. Cut squares of baking parchment of about 17 x 17 cm. Roll up the dough rectangle, starting at the longest edge. Roll and pull and gently twist a bit, and the resulting sausage will be much longer, about 40 to 50 cm (4). Taking one end as the center, now turn the sausage in on itself, forming a rolled bun (5). Gently press it flat with your hand, then transfer onto a piece of parchment, and use the rolling pin again to gently roll the bun into a 15cm wide flat circle, about a cm in thickness (6). Prepare as much swirls as your oven can hold in one go, leave the rest covered up.

Using a pizza peel or an extra-wide spatula to support the flat tahini swirls sitting on their separate parchment, quickly transfer them into the oven. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or till parts of the surface have turned a deep golden brown. Get them out and leave them to cool and get nice and crispy on a wire rack.

Have some apple tea to go with that. Their taste is not overly sweet; and I love the combination of crunchiness with that slightly caramelized sesame filling. Roll over Swedish cinnamon buns, these tahini swirls are awesome!


Pasta Lovers Unite – Loving All Kinds

I have been loving pasta for as long as I can remember. I remember when I was 8 years old. I made my very first pasta dish with of course the supervision of my mom. She started getting me in the cooking mode since I was 7 years old and she taught me the basics from making pasta sauce from scratch and how long to boil the pasta for and then as I got older when I was 14 years old, I began to do it all myself without supervision anymore and they love my pasta’s I make. Now I do an assortment. I do lasagna, fettuccine Alfredo and a whole bunch of other styles of Pasta. I love tortellini, rigatoni, fuccilli, elbow macaroni, linguine, and among other really awesome styles. For all those connoisseur’s for pasta, I am sure you can all relate to the passion. I think all of us pasta lovers have this different type of food passion and I am sure all of us can eat this everyday. 

Too many carbs though, but I do not care, Pasta is good for you. You may not believe it, but it really is and a good nutrition factor. There are some people who go overboard and go to extremes when dieting, I believe that nobody should diet. All it is, is to watch your portion control and who cares if you have a little more, but pastas have durum semolina, and all kinds of nutrition packed into it.  God bless this food. :) Spaghetti, Penne Rigate, Tagliatelle, Cannelloni. I have come up with so many recipes, and different styles of how to create and make that perfect sauce, and that perfect blend of tastes. Some can be done with Veggies, an array of meats, Seafood pastas, cheese pastas, pasta salads, Olive oils, vinaigrette,  I would love to get the accessories to make pasta from scratch for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but its so expensive to buy, So for the time being I want to try and do different pastas on my own and get the dough recipes and then cut the dough into Tagliatelle Nests, and get them all pretty. There are also small shells, linguine, and so many several types.

In the world, mostly Italy and few other places, pasta, spaghetti is very well know around the world, and different people make it different ways. what are some of your favourite pasta dishes? What do you work with? I would love to venture off to Italy and go on a Food Trip tour and taste and get the feel of how important Pasta is to those regions and to the cultures. I would love to go on a culinary adventure and get more personal with top chefs, Pasta Experts and so much more. The possibilities are endless and its such a beautiful thing.

  P-A-S-T-A …. yum yum yum. Bon Apetit…..

Welcome 2014! Happy New Year!

Hello everyone, Now that 2013 is behind us, looking forward to brand new year, a fresh start, another 365 days. I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year 2014. I wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy, prosperous, successful year. Wishing you the best, and may 2014 be full of love, great and happy surprises, great memories and so much more. What are your plans for 2014? What are your resolutions? Do you keep up with your resolutions? What changes do you want to see? We can all make a difference in the world if we all pitch in and do our best to make this world a better place.

Are you planning to travel in 2014? lets see what 2014 has in store for all of us. I hope that everything will go well and we will go through another year. I know every year, we have our ups and downs and things always change in a year, but I hope that everything will be ups for everyone. I cannot believe 2013 is over. It went by so quickly. It seems just like yesterday we were celebrating 2013, but now onto another year. It seems like every passing year, time and the days are going by quicker and quicker.

This year I plan to attain, and accomplish many goals I have already set out. I do a lot of reflection the last week of the year thinking about what to do for the year ahead. Well, Goodbye 2013. Welcome 2014!