Monday, January 12, 2009


4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
a small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract,and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Jello Brain Platter

I made this Jello brain platter for my neighbors as a Halloween/Wedding Anniversary gift. I was WAY too excited to present them with it!!!

I bought a clear rectangular platter at the dollar store, borrowed a brain mould from my co-worker Teresa, then shopped around for the fixings.

I picked up some gummy worms and gummy spiders from Shoppers Drug Mart. They sell them in plastic tubs. I also picked up a huge bag of Eye Gum balls.

I always have corn syrup and red food colouring in the house (never know when you are going to need to make some fake blood!)

I used 3 boxes of Lime Jello (tho I did see some recipes online for brain coloured gelatin) and only used half the recommended water so it would set very solid.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Slime Lime Jello Shooters

Lime Slime Eyeball Jelly Shooters

Yield: 6 shooters

Ingredients: 1 package lime Jell-O powder, 6 canned or fresh lychees, 6 maraschino cherries, 6 slices of black grape

Directions: Stuff a maraschino cherry into the lychee without breaking it. Cut slice from outside of grape and place over red part of “eyeball”. Prepare lime green Jell-O according to directions. To suspend eyeball in Jell-O, pour Jell-O halfway up in a square shot glass, large enough to hold the lychee with room around the edge and let set. Place the “eyeball” on the set Jell-O and pour remaining Jell-O into shot glass. Cover and let set.

Personally, I would replace the cold water with VODKA!!!!!


To Die For Cheesecake at True Confections


Friday, September 21, 2007

And so it seems the excitement's fizzled out and Food Porn is dying a slow death. We'll change that. Soon. (Won't we girls?) Stayed tuned.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Cool Whip Cracker Dessert

Thursday at work, one of the ladies brought a homemade treat for us that was SO GOOD! It was fluffy, and light and not too sweet. She gave me the recipe for it, so I thought I would share it with you.

1 Large Box of Premium Plus Crackers, The Unsalted Kind, 4 sleeves (Do not buy generic)
2 Large tubs of Cool Whip (Thawed)
3 (4 Serving sized) boxes of Instant Vanilla Pudding (Prepare according to package instructions)

One 9X12 Lasagne type pan with deep sides.

Start by placing a couple of tablespoons of Vanilla Pudding in the bottom of the pan to act as glue for the first layer of crackers.

Layer 1: Place a single layer of Crackers
Top with a layer of Pudding
Top with a layer of Cool Whip

Repeat Two more times. Cover and place in the fridge. You must make this dish 24 hours in advance. You can top this desert with raspberry syrup to make it sweeter.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Checking Things Out (With Enchiladas)

(Am on the new blogger and checking to see what happens here.)

(chicken/green onions/garlic missing from picture)

Boneless skinless chicken breasts ( know me by now - YOU decide how much you want. There are no rules)
Cooking oil

Onion (I used 1/2 fairly large one)
Peppers* (again, 1/2 red pepper used. You use whatever kind you like)
Garlic (3 large cloves)
Tomatoes (I used 2 romas)
Ground Black Pepper

Tomato sauce (one can...398 ml)
Enchilada sauce (I buy the smallest can possible, don't need much)
Red wine vinegar (a good "splosh"...approximately 3 tbsp)

Grated cheese
Sour Cream (I usually use n/f)
Guacamole (Fiona usually makes it...recipe another time). Buy some, it's easier.
Green onions

* * * * *
Preheat oven to 350.

Cut chicken up into strips or chunks (your preference).
(I got this handy dandy little doomahickey from a Pampered Chef party). Then brown it in a frying with a bit of cooking oil. Season (I just use pepper, don't need the salt).

Slice up (cooking, not green) onion & peppers and throw in with chicken. Then mince the garlic and add it, followed by chopped tomatoes.Add a very liberal shake or two of cumin (we like lots), followed by 1/2 can tomato sauce and red wine vinegar. Stir together and turn heat down, letting it simmer gently.

Pour remaining tomato sauce and a bit (1/3 can or so) of the enchilada sauce into small saucepan and heat on low.

Warm a tortilla (in microwave or in a frypan, on low) until pliable. Put tortilla on a plate, spread some of the tomato sauce/enchilada mix on it. Spoon some of the chicken mixture onto one side, keeping it all the way over near the edge. Top with some grated cheese, sour cream and chopped green onion (I had none).

Roll up tortilla and place into a rectangular pyrex (or baking) dish that has some of the tomato sauce mixture on the bottom, to coat it. Repeat process until you've used all the ingredients or filled your pan. Spoon some more of the tomato/enchilada sauce along the top of each one, then top with more cheese.

Bake in oven until cheese melts (20 minutes or so). Remove from dish and add a few more green onions on top before serving. Serve with guacamole and additional sour cream.

*Two things I learned at the PC party....peppers are sweetest when they're "girls" (duh), meaning they have four bumps on the bottom (two in the front, ahem and two in the back). "Boy" peppers have three bumps and they're not so sweet.

Also, cut off the piece of pepper you want to use and wrap the rest up in saran wrap without washing it/removing seeds. If you store it after washing/deseeding it, it will go mushy! See, now you're a pepper expert like me.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Stole this from junky, who stole it from somewhere else. Thanks, to our friend from the blogdom.

Top 10 Foods for a Good Night's Sleep

What is the secret to getting a solid 7 to 8 hours of sleep? Head for the kitchen and enjoy one or two of these 10 foods. They relax tense muscles, quiet buzzing minds, and/or get calming, sleep-inducing hormones - serotonin and melatonin - flowing. Yawning yet?

Bananas. They're practically a sleeping pill in a peel. In addition to a bit of soothing melatonin and serotonin, bananas contain magnesium, a muscle relaxant.

Chamomile tea. The reason chamomile is such a staple of bedtime tea blends is its mild sedating effect - it's the perfect natural antidote for restless minds/bodies.

Warm milk. It's not a myth. Milk has some tryptophan - an amino acid that has a sedative - like effect - and calcium, which helps the brain use tryptophan. Plus there's the psychological throw-back to infancy, when a warm bottle meant "relax, everything's fine."

Honey. Drizzle a little in your warm milk or herb tea. Lots of sugar is stimulating, but a little glucose tells your brain to turn off orexin, a recently discovered neurotransmitter that's linked to alertness.

Potatoes. A small baked spud won't overwhelm your GI tract, and it clears away acids that can interfere with yawn-inducing tryptophan. To up the soothing effects, mash it with warm milk.

Oatmeal. Oats are a rich source of sleep - inviting melatonin, and a small bowl of warm cereal with a splash of maple syrup is cozy - plus if you've got the munchies, it's filling too.

Almonds. A handful of these heart-healthy nuts can be snooze-inducing, as they contain both tryptophan and a nice dose of muscle-relaxing magnesium.

Flaxseeds. When life goes awry and feeling down is keeping you up, try sprinkling 2 tablespoons of these healthy little seeds on your bedtime oatmeal. They're rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a natural mood lifter.

Whole-wheat bread. A slice of toast with your tea and honey will release insulin, which helps tryptophan get to your brain, where it's converted to serotonin and quietly murmurs "time to sleep."

Turkey. It's the most famous source of tryptophan, credited with all those Thanksgiving naps. But that's actually modern folklore. Tryptophan works when your stomach's basically empty, not overstuffed, and when there are some carbs around, not tons of protein. But put a lean slice or two on some whole-wheat bread mid-evening, and you've got one of the best sleep inducers in your kitchen.

What if none of these foods help you get your zzz's? Check out your sleep habits with this quick RealAge test to find out what?s keeping you up at night.

For an extra treat, here's the ultimate sleep-inducing snack...

Lullaby Muffins
Makes 12 low-fat muffins
Between the bananas, the whole wheat, and the honeyed touch of sweetness, these muffins are practically an edible lullaby.
· 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1 tablespoon baking powder
· 2 large, very ripe bananas
· 1/3 cup applesauce
· 1/4 cup honey
· 1/2 cup milk or soymilk

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine the flour (make sure it's whole-wheat pastry flour or you'll produce golf balls, not muffins), salt, and baking powder. In a blender, puree the bananas; add the applesauce, honey, and milk. Blend well. Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Line muffin tins with paper muffin cups, pour in batter, and bake 30 minutes or until tops are lightly brown and slightly springy.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dad's Omelettes

(I googled this picture because, unfortunately, I don't make omelettes anymore. My kids won't have anything to do with eggs now so I rarely buy them. And, when I do, I buy the Born3 free range ones, they're so good, much better than the other ones.)

Anyhow, Dad made omeletttes a lot at home. We'd often do the "breakfast for dinner" thing and I loved when we did that. They were so damned tasty that I must share the recipe (or as much of it as I remember...we tend to "wing" it when cooking. Therefore, as is usually the case with me, amounts are variable and you decide how much you want!).


EGGS (duh)
S & P


Very simple...cut the bacon into little pieces and begin to fry it, preferably in a non stick frypan. Drain grease out of the pan as you go along if necessary. If you're not using nonstick, make sure you leave a little in there. Cut mushrooms into little pieces and dice some onion and throw it in with the bacon. When the onion's nearly transparent, add some tomato (I use a bit of canned, chopped tomato) and a good shot of chili powder. Set aside.

Heat another non stick frypan with a little oil in it. Swirl the oil around to coat entire pan bottom then dump out excess. In a bowl whisk up eggs with a bit of milk (just a touch!). Add S & P. Dump in hot pan and, again, swirl around gently to cover the bottom with egg. If you don't do this the outer edge of the omelette will be too thin/overcooked and the middle won't be done, it's important. I keep running the egg over into the outside edge until it's a nice even layer in the pan. When egg is nearly done, put some grated cheese on one side of it then add some of the "filling" mix. Gently lift the other side of the egg and fold over the top. Carefully remove to a plate and enjoy!

Know what?....I'm gonna' go make one right now, damn it!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

(Chicken) Fajitas

Several years ago there was a really great local restaurant here called PJ Burger & Sons. As a matter of fact, when I was in labour and about to deliver Tyler, my hubby and my cousin snuck over there to have a milkshake and a bite to eat. It was across the street from the hospital and I was furious...they came back into the delivery room smelling of the delicious stuff and I hadn't eaten in over 24 hours!!

Anyhow, one of our favorites dishes there was the chicken fajitas...they'd bring them to the table still crackling away in the cast iron frying pan. Although they wouldn't reveal their "secret" recipe, I managed to figure it out and, to this day, it's Tyler's absolute favorite meal. I don't use measured amounts, so just "wing it", according to your taste. But the cumin and lime are the key generous with these two.


2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you can substitute beef/pork)

peppers - I use orange, yellow & red (you may want green also)
a cooking onion
cooking oil

3-4 limes (we sometimes use 5 if they're small. More lime juice = tastier, moister fajitas)
half a dozen or so cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
a very liberal shake of cumin
good shake of chili powder
another of paprika
pinch of salt & a bit of (preferably freshly) ground black pepper

cheese (whatever kinds you like)
lettuce (again, whatever your preference is)
green onion
sour cream
(and any other toppings you want to kids put hot sauce on. Some like olives)


* * * * *

Preheat oven to 275.

Chop chicken into bite size pieces or strips. Wash hands well afterward and don't reuse utensils that have been used for the chicken (duh). Cover and put in fridge while prepping other stuff.

Wrap tortillas tightly in tin foil and place in oven.

Mix together in a small bowl - fresh squeezed lime juice, garlic, cumin (we use tons) and a good shake or two of chili powder, paprika, & ground black pepper. (I don't add salt here, as I season the chicken as it cooks).

Prep other "toppings" - grate cheese; chop lettuce, green onion and tomatoes. Cover and place on a serving platter in the fridge until ready to serve.

Heat oil in skillet - cast iron is best but, in all honesty, I don't have one so I use a non stick frying pan. Fry peppers and white onion until done...remove from skillet, set aside. Add a bit more oil to the pan and wait a few seconds until it heats up over med/high heat. Put chicken in the pan and fry until nearly done (I season it a bit as it's frying - a little salt, pepper, paprika and, again, quite a bit of cumin - it has a nice flavor). When chicken's nearly done, add the peppers/onion back into pan, then dump the marinade in from the fridge and crank the heat up high for a minute or two (until it's bubbling away). While this is happening, take toppings you've prepped from the fridge and set out. Also set out a bowl of sour cream & guac. Spoon chicken mixture into a large bowl and set out with other ingredients when done.

Remove tortilla package from fridge and set on table. Have guests each take one out, then rewrap to keep warm.

Fill tortillas with desired filling and wrap up tightly, folding in one end as you do so.


(*Note - any meat can be substituted for the chicken.)

Monday, December 18, 2006

MMMozzerella Sticks

I must confess, I haven't even tried this recipe yet...I just found it today and will be "testing" it out sometime soon. Ty loves mozza sticks and this is from his girlfriend's favorite chef (on the food network). I give all the credit to Giada De Laurentiis of Everyday Italian.

1 1/2 cups Italian-style dried breadcrumbs
1 1/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
2 (16-ounce) blocks pasteurized mozzarella cut into 4 by 1/2-inch sticks
4 large eggs, beaten to blend
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 cups Marinara Sauce, recipe follows

Stir the bread crumbs, 1 cup of Parmesan and 1 teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl to blend. Dip the cheese in the eggs to coat completely and allow the excess egg to drip back into the bowl. Coat the cheese in the bread crumb mixture, patting to adhere and coat completely. Place the cheese sticks on a baking sheet. Repeat dipping the cheese sticks in the egg and bread crumb mixture to coat a second time. Cover and freeze until frozen, about 2 hours and up to 2 days.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Working in batches, fry the cheese until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the fried cheese to plates. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve with the Marinara Sauce.

Marinara Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 (32 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves
In a large casserole pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste. (The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.)

Yield: 2 quarts
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Monday, December 11, 2006

Lemon Lime Cake

My friend Jen gave me this recipe today. She says it makes a great summer cake, but I think it would make a great anytime cake!

1 Pkg lemon cake
1 3oz Lime Jello
1/2 cup hot water
3/4 cup cold water

1 1/2 cups milk (cold)
1 Pkg Dream Whip
1 Pkg Lemon Instant Pudding

Prepare cake and let cool approx 20 minutes
Poke holes in cake with a fork
Mix Jello with hot and cold water
Pour over cake

Mix Dream Whip and pudding with milk and whip until firm.
Spread on cake and refrigerate until set.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

AKA World Peace Fudge

Makes 2 lbs

1PK (350 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
1 1/4 cups Icing Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
(I hate chopped nuts in fudge, so I will NOT tell you to put them in ;)

In a sauce pan over VERY low heat (just barely turn it on, Im serious!) melt chocolate chips with eagle brand milk, stirring constantly until smooth. Gradually add icing sugar while stirring constantly, add vanilla. Stir well. By the time you are finished your arm will feel about ready to fall off. Especially if you have promised to make some for all of your friends because they are drooling while remembering it from last year.

You can also pour the melted ingredients into the blender to mix to save your arm from falling off with all the stirring

Pour into wax paper lined 8 inch square pan and chill 2 - 3 hours until firm. Cut into small squares. May be well wrapped and frozen up to 6 weeks.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Speaking of Crisp ...

My garden was bursting with rhubarb this year.

It really is a remarkable plant, which will thrive almost anywhere. When we first moved into our house, we discovered a rhubarb plant growing under a row of spruce trees. Nothing grows under spruce trees. We dug up a chunk of the rhubarb, transplanted it to a dirt patch under the kitchen window, and now we are inundated with the stuff.

Fortunately, I love it.

This is one of my favourite recipes. I generally add more oats and go heavy on the topping.

Mix together until crumbly:
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ cup oatmeal
1 ¾ cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup melted butter

Press half of mixture into 13 x 9’ pan.
Cover with:
5 - 6 cups chopped rhubarb

Combine and cook until thick:
1 ½ cups white sugar
3 tbsp corn starch
1 ½ cup water
1 ½ tsp vanilla

Pour over rhubarb and top with remaining crumb mixture. Bake at 350°C for 45 minutes.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Crisp Days Deserve Crisps

This stuff is my new best friend...I love it.

Dad recently gave us so many apples from his trees that we couldn't eat them fast enough. After giving some to everyone in the neighbourhood, I still had too many. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" this rate we should live to be 106. And "an apple for the teacher"..."here, how about 53?". Next year I'm going to make sure I take some down to the food bank...this year my car was broken down for 3 weeks out of the past 4. And good intentions just don't get it done...I needed transportation!

So how does this all tie in together?...let me tell you. I decided to make an apple crisp to use some of the apples that were starting to soften. Having searched for my favorite, simple "recipe" (it really isn't much of one - crisps are so basic), I decided to "wing it" when I couldn't find it. And it was the best damn apple crisp I'd ever made....Ty concurred with that. I was going to take a picture to post, but we ate it all straight out of the oven. I made another and we did it again.

I don't have exact "amounts", so wing it, as I did. Foolproof....really it is.

-Butter/margarine (to "grease" bottom of baking dish)
-Apples (as many as you need to fill the bottom of whatever baking dish you're using) - I used a small casserole dish and 5-6 small apples
-Lemon Juice (I used fresh stuff)

-Brown Sugar
-More Butter/margarine
-Rolled Oats (I use the instant ones, pictured above)

"Topping" from Quaker Supreme Oatmeal (Maple Walnut flavour)

Butter a baking/casserole dish of any size, depending on how many you're feeding. Peel apples and cut into small wedges/pieces. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice on the apple slices and toss. Put in greased casserole dish and set aside.

In a bowl combine* 1/2 C brown sugar, 1/4 C flour, 2 packs instant oats, 4 TBSP butter/margarine in a bowl. Mix together and, if it seems a little too "dry", add a bit more butter. (*You can play around with the amounts of the ingredients, this is approximately how much I used).

Dump mixture on top of apples and spread out, evenly.

Sprinkle on one pack of the "toppping".

Bake at 325 for approximately 30 minutes.

Top with ice cream and enjoy.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Italian Goulash

This is from one of my favourite cookbooks, ‘The Wiseguy Cookbook: My favorite recipes from my life as a goodfella to cooking on the run’ by Henry Hill, the gangster immortalised on film by the beautiful Ray Liotta in Goodfellas. He has a real passion for food that really comes through in the book. He writes in great detail about ingredients and has masses of really useful tips. He may have once been a properly scary gangster but the man knows how to write a good cookbook. This is a proper hearty monster of a pasta dish from the ‘Fast Recipe List’ - “ Here are the recipes you can make ‘on the run’. Any one of these will take you less than an hour to make from start to finish.”

I’ll quote Henry’s words exactly. When cooking I find it helpful to imagine Ray Liotta reading the recipe out for me. Sigh

“I call this goulash because it reminds me of a Hungarian goulash I used to get in New York. You can make this dish with any type of steak; it doesn’t have to be expensive. The liquid from the tomatoes will tenderize the meat.
Americans like more meat in their sauce than Italians – don’t skimp on the protein! If anything, add extra.”

Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1-1.5 pounds steak (any kind) cut in 0.5 x 2” pieces
2 medium or large red peppers, cored, seeded and diced
One 28-ounce and one 14-ounce can plum tomatoes + their juice
Quarter cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried
Half teaspoon salt
Quarter teaspoon black pepper
Dash cayenne or red pepper flakes
Half cup dry red wine
1 pound penne, cooked and drained, reserving 1 cup pasta water
Grated Parmesan for serving

“Heat the oil in a large skillet or pan over a medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes (do not brown). Add steak pieces, raise heat to medium, and cook until almost done (barely pink inside). Remove steak to a bowl.
Add red peppers to remaining oil in skillet. Cook 2-4 minutes until beginning to soften. Drain tomatoes and add juice to peppers. Either crush tomatoes well in your hands or chop fine on a cutting board and add to the skillet along with the parsley, salt, black pepper, and cayenne or red pepper flakes. Cook 2 minutes. Return meat and any juices in the bowl to the pan. Cook 20 minutes, skimming off any oil or foam that rises to the top and stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are beginning to break up and get ‘saucy’. Add red wine and reduce sauce, stirring, about 4 minutes. Sauce should be medium thick. If it gets too thick, add 0.5-1 cup pasta water. Adjust salt and pepper seasoning. Toss steak and tomato mixture with pasta and serve immediately with Parmesan on the side”

"Red meat mixed with pasta is a hefty combo. It'll satisfy the biggest appetite around"

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sushi Goodness

(partly reposted from my blawg) We are off to go get Sushi. I like this sunday tradition. Sushi Sundays!! I found a recipe for California Rolls from Sushi Day dot com. One day I will learn how to make my own! Do any of you know how to make Sushi? Barb, when I move to Calgary, do you want to learn with me? I think it would be fun!!!!! :) Happy Sunday!


* 6 sheets of nori
* 6 cups sumeshi
* 1 medium avocado
* 1 cup imitation crab
* 1 small cucumber (optional)
* ¼ cup mayonnaise (to taste)
* sesame seeds

Cooking Directions

1. Cook sushi rice.
2. Mix imitation crab and mayonnaise, separating crab pieces and mashing into smaller pieces.
3. Cut the avocado in half, discarding the pit.
4. Cut off the hard skin and discard.
5. Slice the avocado into thin sticks.
6. If you choose to use cucumber, slice it into long, thin sticks.
7. Using avocado sticks, cucumber(if desired), and the imitation crab mix as your fillings, roll and slice the sushi
8. Garnish with sesame seeds, and serve with wasabi, shoyu, and ginger (if desired). Enjoy!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Six Ingredients Or Less

This is one of my all time favorite cookbooks. Why? Because it simplifies things. Instead of long lists of ingredients that I've never heard of (and don't particularly want to buy for one recipe only), each and every recipe in this book has six ingredients or less. It also has entire "menus" for meal planning in the last section (including dessert), with a grocery list for each one and "short cuts" to speed things up. Even those with the weakest culinary skills can throw together a meal fit for a king with this book. Here's one of the many recipes I'll be posting from this book:


1 chicken, cut up
1/2 C flour & 1/3 C flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 tbsp butter
1/2 C finely chopped onion

Wash chicken and pat dry. Combine the 1/2 C flour, salt & pepper - I sneak extras in sometimes (cheater), like garlic powder or Italian seasoning. Roll chicken in flour mixture to coat. Heat butter in large, heavy skillet then brown chicken on all sides. Place chicken, skin side up, in a baking dish or roasting pan (approx. 9 X 13"). Add onion to dripping in skillet and cook until soft. Add 1 1/2 C water to skillet and bring to a boil. Pour over chicken. Cover tightly with a lid or foil. Bake at 350 for an hour. Remove chicken and keep warm.

Carefully pour liquid from baking dish into skillet used for browning and bring to a boil. Combine the remaining 1/3 C flour with a cup of water and mix until smooth. Add to hot liquid. Cook, stirring constantly until gravy thickens. Taste for seasoning. Makes 4 servings.

Berni's World Famous Cranberry Orange Muffins

I just realized that these are actually from the Canadian Living cookbook, and all this time I had thought my sister Berni invented them. She did introduce them to me, however, and they are my favourite muffin, bar none.
They are even better the second or third day and they freeze really well, so you can easily double or even triple the batch if you are so inclined.

Cautious: highly addictive
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup whole cranberries (fresh or frozen)
Mix together:
3/4 cup orange juice
grated peel of 1 orange (I've used 2 if I'm feeling really orangey)
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup melted butter
Add to dry ingredients and mix until just blended.
Bake in large muffin cups at 350F for 15-20 minutes.
(You can also make into a loaf by putting into a 9x5" pan and baking at 350F for ~50 minutes.)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

No Fat Pineapple Cake

Barbara W heard our recent pleas for pineapple upside down cake and very kindly sent us this recipe for a non-fat pineapple cake. She claims that it is even simple for her to make, which means that I just might be able to pull if off as well.

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup raisins
2 eggs
squirt juice of lemon
1 cup pineapple tidbits, with juice
2 teaspoons baking powder

mix together
put in 9 x 13 pan, non greased (but maybe use Pam)
bake 350-375 F for 30 to 45 min, according to toothpick test
let cool before serving

Friday, November 10, 2006

Punch Bowl Chocolate Trifle Dessert

I make this once, every five years. Its so rich, you can't make it too often.

1 chocolate or white cake, cute into small squares (I used this cake recipe)
2 tubs of Cool Whip
3 packages of instant pudding; 2 chocolate, 1 vanilla
4 crispy crunch bars, broken
5 cups of milk

Mix instant puddings with 5 cups of milk.
Layer ingredients into a large bowl in the following order:
Cool Whip
Crispy Crunch
Cool Whip

Sprinkle the remaining Crispy Crunch pieces on the Cool Whip. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

"A's Vanilla Cake"

This is a family recipe, we never really came up with a real name, nor do I have any pictures, sorry. We started calling it "A's cake" because I used to ask my Mom to make it for my birthday. This cake doesn't need icing, its very spongy.

5 eggs
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 cups of flour
3 tsp of baking powder
1 cup of Vegetable Oil
1 package of Vanilla Sugar (Dr.Oetker)
1/2 cup of milk

Mix sugar and eggs. Stir in everything else. Butter and flour pan, bake at 375' for 20 minutes. (The time may be off, use the needle test).

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Thai Spiced Squash Soup

I just found this online at 101 Cookbooks. I'm going to try it tonight!!! I LOOOVE red curry paste!

Keep in mind that different Thai curry pastes have differing strengths. Start with a teaspoon to start and then build from there until the soup has a level of spiciness and flavor that works for your palete. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds.

2 acorn squash, pumpkins, or other smallish winter squash
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 teaspoon (or more) red Thai curry paste
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt (or to taste)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place the oven racks in the middle.

Carefully cut each squash/pumpkin into halves (or quarters). Slather each piece of squash with butter, sprinkle generously with salt, place on a baking sheet skin sides down, and place in the oven. Roast for about an hour or until the squash is tender throughout.

When the pumpkin/squash are cool enough to handle scoop it into a large pot over medium high heat. Add the coconut milk and curry paste and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and puree with a hand blender, you should have a very thick base at this point. Now add water a cup at a time pureeing between additions until the soup is the consistency you prefer - a light vegetable stock would work here as well. Bring up to a simmer again and add the salt (and more curry paste if you like, I used just shy of 6 teaspoons but the curry paste I use is not over-the-top spicy).

Serves six.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Roasted Cauliflower

I enjoy cauliflower. I enjoy it raw, I enjoy it in a curry, and I enjoy it steamed in the microwave with a touch of butter.

The other day I came home from grocery shopping with a huge head of cauliflower only to discover that I had just bought another huge head a couple of days previous. So I thought it was time to try something a little different.

This recipe for roasted cauliflower, which I found in the Calgary Herald a couple of weeks ago, appealed to me, so I gave it a whirl. It was yummy – sweet and nutty, quite different from regular old cauliflower.

1 head of cauliflower
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

- whisk together -

Cut cauliflower in 1 ½ inch florets, rinse, and pat dry. Drizzle oil mixture over cauliflower florets, tossing until well coated. Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake at 475C for 18 – 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes of roasting.

Meanwhile, prepare topping (optional, but why wouldn’t you choose topping?)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 oz finely chopped prosciutto
1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
1 tsp butter
½ cup bread crumbs
¼ cup Italian parsley

Heat oil in frying pan, sauté prosciutto over medium-low for 3 minutes, until just crisp, add shallots and sauté for 1 minute. Add butter and bread crumbs, sauté for another minute, stir in parsley.

(I had no prosciutto or shallots on hand, so just added some extra bread crumbs instead and it was just fine. You can also use a couple of tbsp parmesan in place of bread crumbs.)

Sprinkle over roasted cauliflower.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Chocolate Zucchini Loaf

My Mom used to make zucchini loafs all the time when I was growing up. The only way I'd eat it was if she'd make a chocolate one too. She obliged, thus creating our family chocolate zucchini recipe. Its good, I promise!

3/4 cup margarine or butter
3 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups sugar
2 1/1 cups flour
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
2 cups zucchini, grated
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

In large bowl, beat together butter and sugar. Beat eggs in, one at a time. In separate large bowl, sift flour together with salt, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and cocoa. Add sifted dry ingredients in three additions alternately with grated zucchini and milk to butter mixture. Stir in vanilla (and nuts). Divide into two 9X5 greased and flours loaf pans. Bake at 350'F for 1 hour.

Eat one, freeze one.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Pumpkin Spice Cake - a Critical Review

I baked Allison's recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cake on the weekend, and as there was far too much cake for just the family to devour, I took a slab in to work on Monday.

Here are some of the comments I received:

Zonghang: "This is the best cake I have eaten since moving to Canada."
(He's been here at least 10 years)

Nina of the leather pants: "Vat do I have to do to you to make you bake zat cake more often?"

The rest of the folks didn't say much besides "mmmmmmmm", as their mouths were full and they are polite people.

I still have enough for one more serving for each family member and we shall savour it tonight while watching The Office.

Bake this cake!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Roasted and Sun-dried Tomato Risotto

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C)
For the roasted tomatoes:
1.5lb (700g) tomatoes
1 dessertspoon olive oil
1 fat clove garlic, chopped
Basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the risotto:
2 level teaspoons sun-dried tomato paste
4oz (110g) sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1oz (25g) butter
1 red onion, finely chopped
8oz (225g) risotto rice
10 fl oz (275ml) dry white wine
2oz (50g) parmesan, freshly grated
1 tablespoon double cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

From the lovely Delia Smith. I won’t lie, this is quite a lot of faff, but it’s SO good and really tasty…

Slice each tomato in half and arrange the halves on a roasting tray, cut side uppermost, then season with salt and pepper, sprinkle a few droplets of olive oil on each one, followed by the chopped garlic, then finally top each one with half a basil leaf dipped in oil first to get a good coating.
Now pop the whole lot into the oven and roast the tomatoes for 50-60 minutes or until the edges of the tomatoes are slightly blackened. After that, remove them from the oven and then put the dish in the oven to pre-heat it, reducing the temperature to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C) first. Now put the tomatoes and all their juices into a processor and blend.
Next, melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan and fry the onion for about 7 minutes until it is just tinged brown at the edges. After that, add the rice and stir to coat all the grains with the buttery juices. Now add the wine. Bring it up to boiling point, let it bubble for a minute then add the tomato paste and 12 fl oz (330 ml) boiling water. Give it all a good stir, season with salt and pepper and then add all the processed tomato mixture plus the sun-dried tomatoes. Stir again and bring it just up to simmering point, then transfer the whole lot to the warm dish, return the dish to the oven and, using a timer, give it 35 minutes.
After that stir in the grated Parmesan and give it another 5-10 minutes – what you'll have to do here is to bite a grain of rice to check when it's ready. It should be tender but still retain some bite. Just before serving, stir in the cream and top each portion with shavings of Parmesan and any leftover basil leaves.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Chocolate Dipped Fruit

Does anyone know how to make good chocolate dipped fruit? I've never done this before, but I would LOVE to try it. If anyone has a good recipe please let me know! Thanks.

I haven't tried this recipe, but just found it on the Hershey's website:
  • 1 cup HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tablespoon shortening(do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil)
  • Assorted fresh fruit, washed and chilled

1. In heavy saucepan over very low heat, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth.

2. Allow mixture to cool slightly. Dip fruit or fruit slices about 2/3 of the way into chocolate mixture. Shake gently to remove excess chocolate.

3. Place on wax-paper-covered tray. Refrigerate, uncovered, until chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes. About 1/2 cup coating.

MICROWAVE INSTRUCTIONS: In small microwave-safe bowl, place chocolate chips and shortening. Microwave at HIGH (100%) 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or just until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Allow to cool slightly. Dip and serve fruit as directed above.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ladie's Fingers

I must apologize, for I can't find where I've placed this recipe. It was actually right off the Martha Stewart show and I jotted it down a few years ago. Linds and I have made it the past few Halloweens for her classes and it's always a huge hit...they look exactly like fingers and taste delicious. A recipe is posted on Martha's site, but it's not the original one that we made (which I think was just perfect) - this new one she's posted uses a pretzel type dough. We really liked the original one, which was a melt in your mouth sugar cookie variation - so I will stick with that - why fix it if it ain't broken? I will try and find/post it. Until then, use any sugar cookie recipe that you have available. Here's one that you could use:

1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
blanched whole almonds, cut in half (lengthwise)
red food coloring


Start by "painting fingernails" - brush red food coloring on rounded side of almonds and set aside to dry. These will make "ladie's" fingers...for men's, leave them uncolored.

Cream butter and sugar until light; beat in egg and vanilla. Sift flour and baking powder together; stir into creamed mixture. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until dough is firm enough to roll. On a floured surface roll out dough, then cut/form into long "finger" shapes. Use a knife to score "knuckles", then place a "fingernail" almond on each one and push in, to set in place.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 350°. Makes about 7 to 8 dozen small sugar cookies, or fewer with large cutters.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Halloween Pizza

I was rather surprised when I was asked to be a contributor on this site. Honestly I couldn't cook to save my own life, so I was unsure what I would have to contribute that would be anywhere near as good as the other recipes on here. I think this blog's going to come in handy for me as I learn to cook things that don't have recipes on the box.

As my first contribution, I'd like to put forth something that will actually taste good, unlike the delicious pasta in a decadant cheese sauce with seasoned pork cutlettes (i.e. Kraft Dinner and sliced hotdogs) that I could make without instruction or supervision. And it comes just in time for Halloween!

Halloween Pizza Cookie


1(18-oz.) roll Pillsbury® Refrigerated Sugar Cookies
1/2cup creamy peanut butter
1cup candy corn
1/2cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4cup vanilla ready-to-spread frosting (from 16-oz. can)

Cooking Instructions:

1 . Heat oven to 350°F. Line 12-inch pizza pan with foil; grease foil. Cut cookie dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices; arrange in bottom of greased foil-lined pan. With floured fingers, press slices to form crust.
2 . Bake at 350°F. for 15 to 20 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 30 minutes or until completely cooled.
3 . Using foil lining, lift crust from pan; carefully remove foil from crust. Place crust on serving platter or tray. Spread peanut butter evenly over crust. Sprinkle evenly with candy corn and chocolate chips.
4 . Melt 1/4 cup frosting in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until thin and of drizzling consistency. Drizzle icing over cookie pizza. Cut into wedges or squares.


Now don't go around trying to tell me you couldn't eat that as meal, because you totally could.

(And you wouldn't just smile politely and make over-exaggerated mmmmmm sounds and then spit it into a napkin when I wasn't looking, like you would have with my KD and hotdogs. This will actually taste good!)

zombie's Baked Apples

Zombie just forwarded this recipe to me. Thanks dude!

6 Baking Apples
¾ Cup of Brown Sugar
6 Teaspoons of Butter
¾ Teaspoon of Cinnamon
1 Cup Apple cider
1 ¼ Teaspoons of Lemon Juice
2 Shakes of Nutmeg
3 Cinnamon Sticks

Core each apple (Leaving a little at the bottom to hold the juice). Place upright in baking dish.

Mix brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and lemon juice together in a mixing bowl until it’s combined.

Spoon the contents into the apple. Cut the cinnamon sticks in half and place one in each of the topsides of the apple.

Pour 1-cup apple cider into the baking dish and add a pinch of cinnamon.

Sprinkle the tops of the apples lightly with nutmeg.

Cover the bottom of the baking pan with apple juice. Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes or until soft.

Hope y'all enjoy.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Pumpkin Spice Cake

I saw this recipe on Martha Stewart, but she took it from somewhere know the story. Usually, my test to see if the cake will turn out is if the batter tastes especially good. This cake passed the test. Best cooked in a bundt pan, and you can use whichever milk is on hand.

1 ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 orange
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup canned pumpkin

Orange Glaze
1 ½ cup of icing sugar (powered sugar)
3 tablespoons orange juice

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour a nonstick 10-inch tube pan; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and continue mixing for 3 minutes. Add vanilla and zest; beat to combine. Add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Add pumpkin and mix until incorporated.

4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Drizzle with orange glaze.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Macaroni with Quattro Formaggi by Michelle

5 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk
5 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
4 oz. Fontina cheese, grated
tiny pinch of ground nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
1 lb. ziti, cooked & drained
4 oz. Mozzarella, cut into 1/4" cubes
4 oz. Parmesan, grated
1 tsp. paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2 qt. baking dish. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook 1 min. Gradually whisk in the milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until lightly thickened to the consistency of cream. Whisk in the gorgonzola and fontina. Cook, still whisking constantly, until cheeses are melted. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Combine cheese sauce and cooked ziti. Stir in mozzarella and spoon into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with parmesan & paprika. Bake until bubbling and the top is browned, approximately 30-40 minutes.

(Ed note: Michelle tells me her family loves LOVES the piquancy the Gorgonzola gives to a traditionally mundane dish. Personally I cannot wait to try this!)

Sun-Dried Tomato & Pistachio Spread by Michelle

Here's a recipe for an appetizer spread that works VERY well in the summer - but seasonal spices* can be added to make this an annual treat.

2 cups chopped pistachios
2 tbsp + 1/2 cup olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
3 cups sun-dried tomatoes (NOT oil packed)
2+ cloves garlic, basically to preference
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt to taste

In a large saucepan on medium heat, toast the pistachios in the 2 tbsp of olive oil until the nuts turn golden, about 5-8 minutes.

In a food processor or good blender, add the toasted pistachios, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Process until the ingredients begin to mix and then add the balsamic vinegar and remaining olive oil to desired consistency. Mix well until thoroughly combined.

Serve with toasted baguettes or crackers.

*Spring, add Italian parsley. Summer add a hint of citrus. Fall add the faintest hint of clove or nutmeg. Winter add mint.

Friday, October 20, 2006

XXX Rated

"oooooh, baby" (cookies)......"yes, YES" (with caramel)......."mmmm, that's good" (covered in chocolate). If there's anything that absolutely belongs on this blog, it's these suckers. Don't even bother trying them. You'll be doomed (like me).

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Cheddar Chili Bean Casserole by Mel

We had this last night. It turned out great. MMMMMM CHEESE!
Preheat oven to 350 F Make sure you have a large casserole dish with a cover

2 tbsp butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
2 cups grated aged (sharp) cheddar cheese
2 - 19 oz tins of kidney beans, drained ( I usually buy one tin of white and one of red )
1 - 14 oz tin seasoned stewed tomatoes ( I buy the mexican style )
1 - 4 oz tin mild green chilies
1/2 cup Uncooked INSTANT rice - Such as Minute Rice*
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

*I made the mistake first time I made this, not reading the recipe properly, and used regular long grain rice. Big mistake! Yes, I'm a doofus! Please use only instant rice for this recipe!

Melt butter/margarine in skillet and cook onion until clear. Sprinkle with flour and stir in milk. Boil one minute until thickened. Add Cheese and stir until melted. Transfer to casserole dish
Stir in beans, tomatos, chilies, rice, salt and pepper.
mix well, and cover, and bake for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly and rice is soft.

To Die For Salad

My Auntie Anne loves entertaining and is known for being very creative....she's just one of those people that puts a special touch on everything she does. It's not uncommon for me to come away from one of her gatherings with a recipe in hand...this being one of them. The funny thing is, when I learned where SHE got this one, it turned out I have the cookbook containing it (Jean Pare's "Company's Coming"....Favorites, Vol. 1). I love the Company's Coming series...a lot of great stuff in them. I like this one because it's delicious...but it's also very easy and can (should) be done in advance, to let the flavors all come together. It's more of a "summer" salad, but I like it anytime.



2 TBSP Sesame seeds (toasted)
1/2 C Slivered almonds (toasted)

2 C Cubed, cooked chicken
1 Small head of cabbage, shredded
1 pkg Instant chicken noodles, crumbled (the Mr. Noodles/Ichiban type)
2-3 Chopped green onions


pkg Noodle "seasoning" packet, from instant noodles
1/2 C Salad Oil
3 TBSP Vinegar
1 TBSP Granulated sugar
1 tsp MSG (I omit this)
1 tsp Salt (this too)
1/2 tsp Pepper

*NOTE: You can adjust the ingredients according to taste...I tend to add a bit more of everything in the dressing (except the instant noodle seasoning/salt).

To make salad: Put seasame seeds and almonds in a single layer in pan. Toast at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until them - MAKE SURE THEY DON'T BURN!! Remove from oven and set aside.

Put chicken into large bowl. Add cabbage, crumbled noodles and onions. Mix together.

Time to make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the seasoning packet from the noodles, the oil, vinegar, sugar, msg, salt and pepper. Stir together (or shake, as I do). Pour over chicken/cabbage mixture. Stir, then cover and place in fridge overnight.

Just before serving, sprinkle sesame seeds and almonds in. Toss lightly, just to distribute, then serve. Yum!

(That's Auntie Anne in the's on her right, Auntie Lorna to her left)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Cereal Muffins

This recipe is an old favorite in our house. I got it off a cereal box ages ago - as a matter of fact I don't even think they sell this particular kind of cereal anymore. So I just use whatever I have on hand (no, Fruit Loops don't qualify as "cereal" here). Preferably one with nuts and/or fruit in it. I tend to use Oatmeal Raisin Crisp the majority of the time. The original recipe called for Kelloggs Common Sense Oat Bran and WW cereal.

1 1/2 C (375 ml) all purpose flour
1/2 C (125 ml) firmly packed brown sugar
1 TBSP (15 ml) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground cinnamon (I add more)
1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt
1 1/4 C (300 ml) skim milk
2 egg whites
3 TBSP (45 ml) vegetable oil
3/4 C (175 ml) mashed ripe banana (I add more)
2 C (500 ml) cereal
3/4 C (175 ml) raisins (or less, if there are already raisins in the cereal. You can also improvise and add dried cranberries, etc.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12 muffin tins.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon & salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine milk, egg whites and oil...mix well. Then add bananas, cereal and raisins. Continue to mix until well blended.

Add flour mixture to cereal mixture and stir JUST UNTIL COMBINED - DO NOT OVERMIX. Portion batter into greased muffin cups (12).

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

School Bus Cookies by Mel's Mom

I emailed my mom last night to ask for some recipes from the Harrowsmith Cookbook, and she replied with one of my favorite recipes from childhood! My sister and I loved these cookies. Thanks Mom!!

Her email as follows:

The recipe that comes to mind immediately is the one for School Bus Cookies. I used to make that one all the time for you because they were so yummy and were also nutritious containing wheat germ, oat bran and other things with names kids would think disgusting.

I think they are on page 273 unless that is the page for banana bread. By the way if you ever see another copy of Volume #1 book let me know. The binding is starting to break on mine and it is going to start falling apart. The other volumes are like new because every time I looked for a recipe when wondering what to do with ingredients I had on hand, Volume One always had the recipe of choice. If you need any of the recipes I used let me know and I will send them to you.

School Bus Cookies (Source: Harrowsmith Cookbook Volume One)

1 1/2 cups butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup bran
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup finely chopped dates
3/4 cup wheat germ

Cream butter, sugar and eggs. Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then stir in bran, oats, dates, and wheat germ. Mix well and drop onto cookie sheet from spoon.
Bake at 375 F for 10 - 12 minutes.
If you want softer, chewier cookies, let dough stand for 1/2 hour before baking.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Guilt Free Fries

I must confess, I'm pretty exhaused tonight and, although I wanted my first contribution here to be special, I just don't have the energy to do much more than this. This isn't my recipe, it's from Oprah's chef (Rosie Daley) and I saw it on her show a long time ago. Because I love fries, I was grateful to get a recipe that had a mere half gram of fat per serving (compared to over 15 in regular fries). They're simple and really good.

- 5 large baking potatoes
- light vegetable oil cooking spray
- 2 large egg whites
- seasoning (I use paprika, garlic and a bit of Greek...the original recipe called for Cajun)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut potatoes up....I like wedges, some like shoestring.

Coat a baking sheet with 3 sprays of the cooking spray.

Combine egg whites and seasoning in a bowl. Add potatoes and coat in mixture. Spoon covered potatoes onto baking sheet and ensure they're in a single layer, not overlapping each other.

Place in oven for 40 minutes (shoestring) or longer (wedges)...depending on your preference. Turn with a spatula every couple of minutes. We like ours on the crispy side, so we leave them in for nearly an hour.


Cooking and Canadian Culture by Mel

I grew up in a home where there were there were little or no processed foods. We ate our cereal with dark brown sugar, used honey over sugar because in the 70s it was widely believed to be much healthier (now we know sugar is sugar is sugar and it's "bad" for you) Anyways, I digress.

My first real experience with using recipes came when I was maybe 8 years old, but I will have to ask my mom to confirm my age. I know I was quite young and we lived in a house across from the one room Moyie Elementary School. I wanted to have a dinner party for my family and our family friends Hank and Wendy. I got the recipes from The Purity Cookbook, and the menu I planned was: Corn Casserole, BBQ Spareribs and Jellied Shrimp Salad and Baked Apples for dessert. I was SO SO proud of myself! I even made the BBQ sauce from a recipe out of that book! The only glitch was when I stabbed the palm of my hand with the apple corer ouch! But even that couldn't have ruined the evening for me.

Every summer and fall we would drive from Moyie BC to Creston BC to buy cases of tomatoes, cucumbers, peaches, apples, cherries, and apricots to can at home. The most memorable canned goods our kitchen produced was the crab apple jelly my mom made one year. It was the most gorgeous shade of pink, and tasted amazing, especially on pancakes!

Whenever I think of cooking with my mom, I think of the Harrowsmith Cookbook. It seems it was ever present, propped open on our kitchen counter as stews bubbled, and soups boiled on our gas or wood stoves. I emailed my mom tonight to see if she can please send me some recipes that she likes best from those cookbooks.

In the meantime, I came across this website from Library and Archives Canada called Bon Apetite, a Celebration of Canadian Cookbooks.
There is an wealth of information on this site, that will take me a while to read, but I fully intend on devouring this site. Check this out: Remember Food Company Publications?

I grew up watching this guy cook on CBC TV! My son Devon grew up watching this guy on CBC. (seriously, Dev was 2 years old and would race to the TV whenever he heard the theme music for The Urban Peasant come on, and would shriek, :Mommy it's James Barbaaaa! James Barbaaaaaaa'z on!")

Also on this site, the entire New Galt Cookbook is available:
"The New Galt Cook Book is a revised edition of a book that was popular in English Canada, particularly in the vicinity of Galt in south-western Ontario. The publishers also claimed that copies of the book were sent to China, Egypt, India, South Africa, Australia and the United States. Like many early cookbooks, this collection offered recipes as well as hints for simplifying domestic chores, and a list of cures for common illnesses."

Sour Cream Banana Bread by Mel

This is another recipe that gets GOBBLED up immediately in my home. It makes the whole place smell deeeelicious! Once you make it, you will probably be asked to make it again. I hope you love it!


* 1 cup mashed bananas
* 1 cup sour cream
* 1/4 cup margarine
* 1 1/3 cups white sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9x13 inch pan, or two 7x3 inch loaf pans.

Combine banana and sour cream. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and banana mixture. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; stir into the banana mixture. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan or pans.

Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.

Note from Mel
Sometimes I will buy the bananas in bulk (if they are on sale REALLY cheap), and mash them, measure them out into 2 cups each ( I always make a double batch) into freezer safe containers, and freeze them for next time I want to make the banana loaf. I've even combined them with the sour cream so they are recipe ready. Just remember to label the containers and say how much you put in LOL Nothing like a game of, guess what this frozen mess a year down the road.

Tip from Barb
To get more intense banana flavour, let them get really ripe before using (or freezing) them.

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies by Barbara

cream together:
2/3 cup butter
¾ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla

dry ingredients:
1 ½ cup large flake oats
1 cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt

sprinkle onto dry ingredients any combination of the following to make up 2 cups:
- raisins
- coconut
- dried cranberrries
- chocolate chips
- nuts
- whatever
(I especially like 1 cup cranberries, ½ cup coconut, and ½ cup chocolate chips)

Mix, cover with plastic wrap and chill for about 45 minutes for easy handling.
Form dough into 1-inch balls and flatten onto greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes until golden.
Hide from the rest of the family.

Indian-Spiced Lentil Stew by Barbara

1 tbsp curry powder (I use ~3 tbsps Patak’s hot curry paste, instead)
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp salt
1 glove garlic, crushed
1 cup milk (or soy milk)
1 tbsp oil
3 medium onions
1 ½ cans (28 oz/796 ml each) diced tomatoes, not drained
1 can (19 oz/540 ml) lentils, drained

In a small bowl, combine curry, cumin, turmeric and salt. Add garlic and milk, stir to combine well; set aside.

In a large saucepan over low-medium heat, heat oil and sauté onions, stirring occasionally for about 12 minutes, or until soft and just beginning to brown. Stir in milk mixture and cook until it thickens and bubbles, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, using a potato masher to mash tomatoes into smaller pieces. Stir in lentils and heat gently, uncovered for about 15-20 minutes.

Very nice served with naan or other hearty bread. And could you find a faster and easier soup to make?

Devine Chocolate Birthday Cake by Kees

for the cake...

6 eggs, 5 of them separated
215g caster sugar
265g plain chocolate broken into pieces
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 teaspoon hot water
150g ground almonds

for the icing...

4 tablespoons apricot jam
225g plain chocolate
100g unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 190C/375F gas mark 5.

Grease a 9 inch cake tin, place egg yolks and egg in a bowl with the sugar and whisk until thick and light. Melt the chocolate slowly, dissolve the coffee in the hot water and add to the chocolate.

Cool slightly, then stir into the egg mixture with the almonds.

In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry, and carefully fold into the egg and chocolate mixture. Turn into the tin and gently level the surface.

Bake for 50 minutes or until well risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Measure the jam into a pan and melt over a low heat. Brush all over the cake. Melt the chocolate slowly, add the butter, and stir until the icing has the consistency of thick pouring cream. Poor over the cake smoothing over the top and sides with a palette knife. ALLOW TO SET before decorating!

It's bloody lovely...enjoy!

From Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book

Monday, October 16, 2006

Pumpkin Loaf by Mel

2 Cups Flour
2tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice ( I always use much more, but I like the
spices a lot)
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Shortening
2 Eggs
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
1/4 Cup Milk

1. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, spices, baking soda in a bowl

2. In a seperate bowl, mix shortening, brown sugar, mix in eggs,
pumpkin puree, and milk. Mix well

3. Gradually still in flour mixture until just combined.

4. Pour into greased and floured loaf tin.

5. Bake at 350 F oven for 50 - 55 minutes.

I usually make a brown sugar glaze for this (melt butter and stir in
brown sugar, stir over very low heat until sugar is somewhat disolved)
Every time I make this, Sean and Devon eat it in minutes. It freezes
really well, just wrap in parchement, and put in a freezer bag.