Recipes With Wine

Chef Tim Wasylko Says Good Bye to 24 Sussex

Posted on: November 7th, 2015 by Carla Johnson No Comments
Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin

Photo credit of Chef Tim Wasylko

Chef Tim Wasylko, CWS contributor of “Stuck on Reduction” Grilled Watermelon Salad with Madeira Caramel, has been in the press lately.

For five years, Chef Tim prepared meals for the family and guests of our former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. With the change in government, Chef Tim is sadly facing a career change. He has not publicly shared what other opportunities may be in his future yet, but I certainly hope more than a few great offers come knocking on his door. In the meantime, you may be able to find him stirring up more beautiful creations at his family business The Winchelsea in Winchester, Ontario.

Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin

When the news broke, Chef Tim shared some heart-felt inside stories about the life of the Harper family in an article in the Ottawa Sun. While my personal political views are more to the left, I don’t try to toot my opinions too loudly because wonderful things happen across the full wing-span of politics and I truly enjoy celebrating the accomplishments of people in all walks of life.

The former chef said he never felt like a servant or a butler.  
He recalled the first thing Laureen Harper saying to him as 
“I want you to cook for my family the way you cook for your family.” 
“And I often did,” he recalled.
~ Ottawa Sun, Friday, Nov. 6, 2015

Chef Tim, I wish you the best and I look forward to more wonderful culinary adventures in your future!

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin



Wine and Cheese, What a Pair!

Posted on: November 1st, 2015 by Carla Johnson No Comments

On our kitchen counter, a beautiful wood inlay cheese board holds a place of honour. A gift from our best friends, we have pampered it, but it is starting to show wear and as much as it makes me a little sad, it also makes me a little proud that we are having so much fun with it. This great infographic is only going to wear it out more. I think I like that!

Perfect Wine and Cheese Pairings
Presented By Cabot Creamery

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin


Summertime Frozen Sangria

Posted on: July 8th, 2015 by Carla Johnson No Comments

“I found a photograph of you and me 
Drinking sangria somewhere by the sea.
There’s laughter in our eyes and dreams in our hearts.”

~ The Divine Comedy

Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin

It’s summer and time for a new, refreshing twist on the classic drink sangria.

In Spanish, the word “sangria” means to bleed. While many people enjoy white sangrias, I choose to stick with red wine for my sangrias simply because it fits so “appetizingly” with the name.

Right now I have cotton candy flavoured vodka in my liquor cabinet, so that’s what I started to soak the fruit in. Then, knowing how well wine and chocolate pair, I added “Glad I thought of that!” Crème de Cacao.

I made this for my friend Rhonda’s pool party. (Rhonda, the CWS contributor of Rhonda’s Been Screeched, Bread Pudding and Hard Caramel Sauce & A Little Leftover Red Wine Jelly) The party was a reunion of good friends from our University of Waterloo days. None of us had changed a bit. Yes, none of us had changed a bit. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. The day turned out to be cool & rainy, so the pool was abandoned and we hunkered down indoors to chat and eat and drink. It was a great day. 😀

This fruity sangria is smooth and cool with a nice hint of chocolate. A perfect refreshing drink for a hot – or even a cool and rainy – summer day.

Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin

Summertime Frozen Sangria


2 cups mixed berries

½ cup crème de cacao

½ cup cotton candy flavoured vodka

2 cups rainbow sorbet

1 handful ice cubes

½ bottle cheap & cheerful red wine

1. Let the mixed berries soak in the crème de cacao and vodka for several hours. Stir and when the berries are soft from absorbing the liquid put the whole mix in the freezer overnight. It will partially freeze into a slush.

2. In your blender, mix the sorbet, soaked berries, wine and ice cubes. Blend until smooth and serve.

Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin

Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin

Photo Credit:


My good friend Faryl made up a batch. Here is a shot of hers. It looks so good! Thanks for sharing it Faryl. :)

Cooking With Sin Frozen Sangria

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin


A Bubbly Welcome to 2015

Posted on: December 30th, 2014 by Carla Johnson No Comments
“What did Dom Perignon say to fellow monks after he invented champagne? … Come quickly, I am tasting the stars.”Cooking With Sin Happy New Year 2015 champagne bottle 
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

While I appreciate all different kinds of wine, I have a special spot in my heart for bubbles. That’s what I call it. Bubbles. Mm…yes. Sparkling wine, champagne, prosecco, cava, espumante, asti, cuvée, sekt… even frizzante. Yum.

And there is not a better way to welcome in the new year than popping the cork on a bottle of your favourite.

Cooking With Sin Carla Johnson author sparkling wine champagne sekt cava prosecco cuvee asti spumante

Looking for tips on buying bubbles here in Ontario? Check out the sparkling wine reviews on Natalie MacLean’s site. I’ve been known to put some reviews on the site on occasion. You might find it helpful.

Cooking With Sin Carla Johnson Happy New Year 2015 champagne glasses

Be at war with your voices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better person.
-Benjamin Franklin

Wishing You and Yours Blessings for 2015!

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin


Cooking With Sin Goes Lite – The Ultimate Garden-of-Eden Salad

Posted on: November 23rd, 2014 by Carla Johnson No Comments

Carla Johnson author Cooking With SinLike so many ventures into healthier eating, mine has had its fits and starts, but it keeps moving forward. Recently I had the true pleasure of sharing a kitchen demo at Word on the Street with Christine Gingerich, the author and visionary of the book “Optimal You.” Christine is driven by a sincere passion to help people live vibrant, healthier lives and she shares her recipes and advice with a gentle, personal approach.

Excited by her project, I asked Christine if she would be willing to share one of her recipes here on CWS. No surprise here, none of her recipes have booze in them, but her most-requested salad is made with red wine vinegar, so I decided it worked for me. :) And her salad is called Garden-of-Eden, the location of the “original sin.” Coincidence? I think not! 😉

The Ultimate Garden-Of-Eden Salad

by Christine Gingerich

Christine Gingerich Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

For many years, I have been known as The Salad Girl. For holidays, parties, and potlucks, I always seem to be asked to bring the salad. This recipe has been my most popular salad creation with the most tallied “oohs” and “aahs.” It contains lots of brain-nourishing healthy fats and antioxidants to help fight disease. Serve it as a healthy addition to a light lunch or as a starter with a main entrée.

1 large bowl organic mixed greens, about 8 cups (spring mix is our favourite)
1 ripe avocado, chopped
1½ cups tomato, chopped
⅓ cup carrot, finely shredded
1 cup red pepper, seeded and chopped into chunks
¼ cup red onion or shallots, thinly sliced
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup black olives, sliced or ½ cup whole
1 cup Homemade Croutons

Dressing: Garden-of-Eden Salad Dressing – see below

Clean the lettuce well. Add avocado, tomato, carrot, red pepper, onion, feta, and olives. Top with homemade croutons. Coat salad well with desired amount of dressing. Toss and serve immediately.

Note: An avocado is ripe when it changes from bright green to dark green (not completely black). It should be just barely soft when pressed with the thumb.

Yield: 6 servings          Prep Time: 15-20 minutes

Garden-of-Eden Salad Dressing

This is, by far, our favourite salad dressing, and it’s especially perfect on The Ultimate Garden-of-Eden Salad. It contains anti-microbial garlic and fresh lemon to cleanse the liver. This dressing is easy to make, very nourishing and great tasting. The recipe makes a large batch that can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four weeks. It’s also a delicious marinade for chicken or steak.

3 cups extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil
1 cup red wine vinegar or dark balsamic vinegar
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (less if less-tart dressing is desired)
3 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp garlic cloves, minced (or 2 large cloves)
2 Tbsp dried basil
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
3 tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper

Mix all ingredients, and store in a labelled glass bottle in the refrigerator. For easy pouring, remove dressing from fridge 10 minutes prior to pouring, and shake well. This dressing is best if allowed to marinate overnight before serving.

Yield: 4½ cups             Prep Time: 10 minutes

Check out all the great features Christine’s book “Optimal You” has to offer. It is available online or at our local Waterloo Region book stores.

Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin

The cover of “Optimal You” by Christine Gingerich

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin